The Pentagon is considering a major overhaul of its geographical combatant commands, possibly realigning oversight within hot-button areas of the world and eliminating thousands of military and civilian positions,according to defense sources.. While the plans for combatant command (COCOM) realignment and consolidation are still notional, sources say some options include: Combining Northern Command and Southern Command to form what what some are calling “Americas Command” or “Western Command.” Dissolving Africa Command and splitting it up among European Command and Central Command.
Cyprus, Israel and Greece have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of energy and water. Speaking after the signing of the MoU, Cyprus Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said “this is a monumental moment for the cooperation among the three countries”. “The MoU is a framework which will determine the number of activities that the countries have agreed to jointly pursue, such as energy security supply, environmental concerns and a number of other issues which are common for us three”, he added.
Every Monday, 70 or so trucks packed with illegal migrants line up in Agadez, in northern Niger, and head for Libya. “Before the war, trucks entered Libya one or two at a time,” says one migrant, a Nigerien named Salem. “Now it’s 10 or 20.” The easy comings and goings through southern Libya are a key component of the security difficulties that have leaders worried for the future. The concern is that a porous border and weak state make the south a natural draw for traffickers and militant groups, a potential whirlpool of instability in an already unstable region.
Egypt and her strategic waterways are the heart of the Arab economy. Wars have been waged in the past based upon these important straits. If Egypt falls to militarism or radical Islam like its neighbors Sudan and Libya, numerous Arab and western nations will suffer massive economic loss. You can have unlimited oil and LNG on hand but you need safe shipping routes in which to transport it. With this understanding Egypt is not truly sovereign and that is why it is in a constant state of flux. Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and other actors and countries are in the midst of a covert battle royal to influence Egyptian affairs.
The suspension of Tunisia’s transitional parliament could bring the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings closer to an “Egyptian scenario” in which the secular opposition topples an Islamist-led government, analysts and politicians say.
The biggest shock to the ruling Ennahda party, the Tunisian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be that the latest blow came from one of its own secular allies – a sign of rising polarisation between Islamist and secular forces.
An airborne ground surveillance radar developed by Cassidian was recently demonstrated in flight testing. The new AESA-based radar is designed to detect targets over land and sea, with maximum resolution. Cassidian defines the new system as a ‘SMART radar’, for ‘Scalable Modular Aerospace Radar Technology’, featuring software-defined sensor architecture and flexible adaptation to various manned and unmanned platforms. As part of the flight test campaign carried out from the German air base in Hohn, ‘SmartRadar’ demonstrated airborne ground surveillance capabilities achieving record detection performance.
The United States has expressed concern about Japan’s desire to acquire the ability to attack enemy bases in an overhaul of its defense policies pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a government source said in Tokyo. One of the American officials attending bilateral talks on foreign and defense policy cooperation late last month in Tokyo asked the Japanese side to consider the possible negative fallout on neighboring countries if Abe’s administration embarks on such a policy shift.
South and East Asia have become the world’s major oil consumers, but they lack the supply. Energy security thus lies at the heart of Asia’s economic transformation, prosperity and development. Jean-Pierre Lehmann and Suddha Chakravartti explain how China, India and their smaller neighboring economies are scrambling to find ways to secure and deliver enough oil from suppliers to consumers. The vastness and heterogeneity of Asia contrast with the relative compactness and homogeneity of Europe. Nevertheless, Asia does exist as a geopolitical, geo-economic and analytical entity.
On Thursday I wrote about the curious story of Michele Catalano and her husband who live on Long Island and were unexpectedly visited by the police. The team of six policemen asked to search the Catalano’s house and asked pointed questions such as “Do you have any bombs?” (to which terrorists always answer “yes”), “Do you own a pressure cooker?”, and “Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb?”
Faced with continuing cross border incursions by smugglers and terrorists, Libya and Algeria have decided to activate the Joint Commission agreed last year. Security is a major aspect of its anticipated work, although it is supposed to cover a much wider field, including political and economic collaboration.
The decision to activate the commission was taken at a meeting in the Algerian capital yesterday between the Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, and his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmalek Sellal and the Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci.
As many as 2,000 protesters calling themselves the People’s Army Against the Thaksin Regime turned up Sunday for a peaceful rally in a Bangkok park. But bigger and more militant protests are expected when parliament on Wednesday begins debating an amnesty bill that would cover people arrested for political activities since the 2006 military coup that ousted Thaksin for alleged corruption and disrespect to the monarchy.
Beijing drafts plan for symbolic bridge, but lacks approval from Taiwanese authorities. The mainland government has recently approved a national road project that includes two cross-strait highways linking both sides of the Taiwan Strait. If completed, the project would be a literal and figurative bridge between the mainland and Taiwan and would mark a major milestone in cross-strait relations. However, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, the island’s top cross-strait policy planning body, said the project had been “unilaterally worked out by mainland authorities”.
Teams of analysts at GCHQ now have the authority and the technical capacity to tap directly into the nervous system of the 21st century and peer into the lives of others. Dig deeper into the drily worded, acronym-filled files, and there are other insights about the challenges faced by GCHQ, and its own anxieties about meeting them. GCHQ has been tasked with finding the solutions, mindful that the potential rewards are high; never before has the agency had the opportunity to build such a complete record of someone’s life through their texts, conversations, emails and search records.
In many cases the police and paramilitary units used non-lethal methods in responding to rallies and violence by supporters of Islamic parties, the New York-based advocacy group found. In other instances they resorted to “excessive force,” shooting demonstrators at close range, and beating others to death, according to witness testimony. More than 150 people were killed, including seven children, and at least 2,000 others were injured in clashes between February and early May, Human Rights Watch said after interviewing 95 victims, witnesses, journalists, lawyers and human rights workers. Police officers were among those who died, it found.
The South Korean Defense Ministry last week offered its five-year budget proposal, which includes a major focus — to the tune of tens of billions of dollars — on increasing the country’s ability to thwart possible North Korean missile strikes from reaching their targets. Approximately $26.4 billion is sought for fiscal 2014 to 2018 for the purchase of missile defense-related armaments, including cruise and ballistic missiles, satellites and remotely piloted surveillance aircraft. The spending proposal asks for funding to modernize South Korea’s arsenal of U.S.-made Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missile interceptors and to acquire new PAC-2 missiles.
Washington welcomes visits to its nuclear weapons facilities by Japan as a way to provide “firsthand knowledge” of the U.S. nuclear posture and reassurances of its nuclear deterrent, a former senior U.S. defense official says.
“The nuclear umbrella is a centerpiece of the U.S.-Japan security alliance,” Bradley Roberts, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, said in a written response to The Asahi Shimbun’s questions in early July.
There are concerns as the political upheaval grows, elements of the former regime of Zein Abidine Ben Ali, driven from power in January 2011, retain considerable influence and maintain ties with the labor unions and the internal security forces and could try to stage a comeback.
The cause of Tunisia’s slide toward anarchy was the assassination Thursday of secular opposition leader Mohammed Brahmi, a member of the 217-seat parliament who represented the central city of Sidi Bouzid, his hometown.
Egypt’s army is recasting the country’s political drama, giving a popular general the starring role in a change with echoes of the past that could undermine democracy in the Arab world. Even though Sisi has a popular mandate, the army’s manoeuvring, coupled with the resurgence of the security apparatus, raises questions about the prospects for democracy in the Arab world’s biggest nation. In one incident alone, 80 Mursi supporters were killed in the streets of Cairo on Saturday.
The European Union (EU) is planning to assemble an independent intelligence body of its own in “an urgent response” to the recent revelation that the US has been spying on EU officials as well as European citizens.
The planned apparatus, which will be set up by owning and operating spy drones, surveillance satellites and espionage aircraft by the EU itself, will be used for “internal security and defence purposes,” the Telegraph reported, citing “officials.” The European Commission has issued a 17-page report, proposing some concrete steps that would encourage pan-European defense cooperation.
Amid signs Israel’s effort to patch up relations with one-time ally Turkey is in difficulties, the prospect of exporting gas from offshore fields to Europe via a pipeline under the eastern Mediterranean to Turkey would seem to be dimming. That suggests more interest in a liquefied gas system aimed at lucrative exports to Asia via the Red Sea. Either way, Israel’s navy is trying to figure out how best to protect the Jewish state’s expanding gas industry– and if current plans work out, oil production as well — from a wide spectrum of security threats that seem to be growing by the day.
United Nations is assessing private military and security companies and their commitment to international norms, an envoy said from New York. The United Nations announced a panel discussion on the use of mercenaries and private security companies is scheduled next week at the U.N. headquarters. Group director Anton Katz said the United Nations has an opportunity to influence the standards and behavior of the private security industry in a way that puts it in line with international human rights laws.
Allowing the US military to use facilities on an almost continuous basis offers a bonanza to weapons manufacturers and may inflame tensions in the region. The proposed Philippines-US bases access accord should be scrutinised for its hidden motives, to remove chaff from grain. The agreement will chain the Philippines as a permanent station for bolstering America’s military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, and its arms trade. Building the Philippines’ “minimum deterrence capability” in territorial feuds with China and ensuring a US shield against external aggression are just sound bytes. The corporate agenda is concealed by security objectives.
The protesters denounced what they perceive as entrenched corruption in the government, while chanting “Mafia!” and “Resign!” They also demanded the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski. “They threw stones … at the bus, and they call it a peaceful protest,” Bulgarian Socialist Party deputy Anton Kutev, one of the scores trapped inside the building, told BNT1 state television. On Tuesday, Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev issued a statement asking the demonstrators to be “peaceful and civilized.”
While the possibility of anti-satellite weapons, jamming and cyber-attacks aimed at the U.S. military’s fleets of communication satellites is making them vulnerable to adversaries, declining defense budgets constitute an equal threat to the space architecture the services rely upon, according to a report released July 24. Like the Maginot Line that gave the French a false sense of security prior to the German Blitzkrieg in World War II, the U.S. military has assumed since the end of the Cold War that no one would dare launch an physical attack on its satellites because that would violate international norms.
The Obama administration earlier this year expanded its secret war in Somalia, stepping up assistance for federal and regional Somali intelligence agencies that are allied against the country’s Islamist insurgency. It’s a move that’s not only violating the terms of an international arms embargo, according to U.N. investigators. The escalation also could be a signal that Washington’s signature victory against al-Qaeda’s most powerful African ally may be in danger of unraveling.
How many bargains you get when shopping depends on Egypt’s Suez Canal being open for business. Between 8% and 12% of all international trade goes through Egypt’s Suez Canal, which cuts thousands of miles off ship journeys from Asia to Europe and to the North American East Coast. We can call it 10% of world trade on a rolling average (trade is still down after the 2008 crash). But note that if the Suez Canal were to be closed by the country’s turbulence, it wouldn’t just affect that ten percent– the impact on prices of many commodities would be across the board.
China’s oil security is tightly linked to economic and foreign policies. Rapid economic growth requires resources, and the Chinese are prowling international markets for gas, oil, minerals, and timber. Beijing has worked relentlessly to establish ever-new supply relationships on every continent. China’s quest to confidently secure foreign oil supplies support the dominant rationales behind its energy security policy largely because the country’s increasing dependence on foreign oil is perceived by Beijing as a weak spot—a strategic vulnerability.
Security forces in Bahrain have been raiding dozens of homes each day since April, arbitrarily arresting young men, and torturing them to force confessions to some crime, a local rights group said on Tuesday. Plainclothes police, some of them dressed in neon-colored vests and black ski masks, knocked down doors of houses in at least 10 villages across the tiny Gulf monarchy on Monday and arrested several people, Yousif al-Muhafda, deputy-head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), said.“In one day, there are at least 30-35 house raids,” the rights activist told Al-Akhbar.
Dozens of people were injured in Cairo clashes Monday as the family of Mohamed Morsi said they plan to sue Egypt’s army chief for having “kidnapped” the ousted Islamist president.
Supporters and opponents of Morsi clashed in Tahrir Square, throwing rocks and firing birdshots, according to members of the emergency services. Police fired tear gas to disperse them.
Dozens of people were injured, medics said, in the clashes that erupted hours after hundreds of Morsi supporters held protests elsewhere in the Egyptian capital.
Even as the security establishment counters the pan-Indian network of Laskher-e-Taiba (LeT) and its indigenous arm Indian Mujahideen, the Pakistan-based terror outfit is busy opening another front close to the northeast region, along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Inputs with R&AW, India’s external intelligence agency, confirm that LeT and its over ground avatar, Jamaat ud Dawah (JuD), are working to extend their footprint along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by riding piggyback on the sectarian violence targeted against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Military officials meet in Lima as rumors abound of increased arms and activity on either side of the border, while the two nations wait for news from The Hague. Annual talks between Chilean and Peruvian military officials continued this week as signs of simmering tensions begin to emerge between the Andean neighbors. Rumors of increased military activity are circulating on both sides of the border ahead of an international court ruling on a territorial dispute between the two parties expected in the coming months.
The doctrine of the Indian secret agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is based on the principle of waging continuous secret battles through its agents. Since its creation in 1968, RAW has assumed a significant status in formulation of Indian foreign policy. RAW’s operations against the regional countries are conducted with great professional skill and expertise, which include the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It has used propaganda, political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements to foment subversion and terrorism to weaken these states in consonance with Indian regional ambitions.
The first U.S. land-based ballistic missile defense base in Europe is to be constructed in Romania by KBR. The construction contract to build the facility at Romania’s Deveselu Air Base was issued to the Texas-headquartered company by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District, and is worth $134 million. KBR said that under the contract it will re-locate a four-story radar deckhouse structure from the East Coast of the United States to Romania and build various facilities and infrastructure to support the Aegis Ashore weapons system.
By opening its doors to India, Iran and Pakistan, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will increase its legitimacy and effectiveness among regional and international powers, and enhance its power posture in the international scene. An observation of the map of the Eurasian region, which includes the members as well as observers of the group, clearly shows the interconnectedness of the whole region. The famed Silk Road stands witness to this connectivity and places like Kashgar, Samarkand and Bukhara in the region were once centres of this Silk Road trade.
The commander of U.S. Strategic Command discussed the mission and future of Air Force Global Strike Command at an all-call here July 15. “The skills that we have for the nuclear deterrence mission will be needed as far into the future as I can see,” Gen. C. Robert Kehler said. “As long as we have nuclear weapons, it’s our job to deter nuclear attack with a safe, secure and effective nuclear force. That’s what we’re here for.” Kehler addressed several topics, including the evolving nature of global security and how it affects the way in which the Air Force must meet new challenges.
Boosting Army’s war fighting capabilities along the line of actual control (LAC), the government on Wednesday has given the go ahead to the creation of a corps including deployment of 50,000 additional troops along the China border at a cost of around Rs 65,000 crore. The Cabinet committee on security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the proposal in its meeting, sources told PTI. The 1.3 million-strong Army is expected to raise the new corps’ headquarters at Panagarh in West Bengal.
Chinese state-run oil companies hope to develop seven new gas fields in the East China Sea, possibly siphoning gas from the seabed beneath waters claimed by Japan, a move that could further inflame tensions with Tokyo over the disputed area.
Beijing had slowed exploration in the energy-rich East China Sea, one of Asia’s biggest security risks due to competing territorial claims, but is now rapidly expanding its hunt for gas, a cheaper and cleaner energy to coal and oil imports.
A potential nucleus for a Japanese marine force exists in the form of the Ground Self-Defense Force Western Army Infantry Regiment, which was founded in 2002 with 660 troops to deal with emergencies on the islets that dot the ocean between Japan’s main islands and Taiwan and are claimed by rival parties, according to that year’s defense white paper. China has raised its amphibious capabilities, a report by the U.S. Defense Department said in May, with three brigades and two divisions deployed near the Taiwan Strait, while the Chinese navy has 55 large and medium-size amphibious transport and landing ships.
The Defense Department’s CIO has called for the enterprisewide implementation of unified capabilities to be fielded to DOD components by fiscal 2016. UC includes a broad set of voice-, video- and data-sharing capabilities that promise to enable unprecedented joint collaboration among the military services, combatant commands and defense agencies. IP-based solutions will enable DOD users to better collaborate via instant messaging, chat and Web-based conferencing, among other applications.
The Taurus KEPD 350 air-to-surface missile can be carried by South Korean F-15K fighter jets, and is equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) that allows a 480kg warhead to penetrate up to 6 metres of reinforced concrete. Joint German-Swedish venture TAURUS Systems, a collaboration between LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH and Saab Dynamics AB, produces the missiles. Theoretically, if launched from a fighter jet in airspace above the central South Korean city of Daejeon––home to ROK Military headquarters––the Taurus could “hit an underground bunker in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang,” Yonhap said.
The development of new safe havens for terrorism and transnational crime in the Sahel should be considered a threat to all European national interests, says think-tank. The ongoing crises in Syria and Egypt have marginalised the conflict in Mali in the western media. But the French-led military intervention in that country is facing a complex and challenging transitional period. The United Nations Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, recently warned the international community to “not forget the Sahel, or you will have more Malis if you do”.
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation expressed in a current position paper for new “military capacity building” in the German Kriegsmarine. Germany is economically heavily dependent on the sea. This is not just on maritime activities in the strict sense because that at least work it out to 3% of the GDP, but also the export industry to transport large parts of their exports by ship. With the steady growth of world trade, to take the “risks of global maritime value chain”; new “vulnerabilities” of the “maritime transport network” – such as West Africa – where also Germany must show in the future presence, caused much like today in the Horn of Africa.
The much-publicised agreement to speed work on developing a 2,000-km trade corridor linking Gwadar Port on Pakistan’s Makran Coast to Kashgar in China’s Xingjian province has been called a “game changer” by Sharif. While credit must be given to the Pakistan premier for his plans to speed up this ambitious project — perceived as pivotal to the country’s economic prosperity — there are several underlying factors, especially security and political differences within Balochistan, that will have to be incorporated in policy formulation for the corridor’s implementation.
Oil-rich Nigeria has an estimated 37.3 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves as of 2011, according to the “Oil & Gas Journal,” something that makes it appealing to China. “It’s a long-standing policy of China to try to gain access to both energy and other natural resources around the world, but heavily in Africa,” Charles Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., said. China gave Nigeria a $1.1 billion low-interest loan, it was announced this week, and in return China can expect more Nigerian oil, going up from 20,000 barrels per day to 200,000 by 2015.
ndia is stepping up training ofAfghan National Army (ANA) in a major way, even as it also considers supply of military equipment to the fledgling force, in the backdrop of the US-led coalition preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014.
Defence ministry sources say “a major Indian effort has been launched for capability enhancement of the ANA” to ensure it can handle the internal security of Afghanistan after the progressive exit of the 100,000 foreign soldiers from there by end-2014.
Greenland, a territory of 2,166,086 km² inhabited by less than 57,000 persons, which got Self Rule within the Kingdom of Denmark in 2009, has everything to attract major powers. Greenland has already become a meeting place for American, European and Asian interests in the Arctic. It is also a strategic territory and a key to future developments in the Arctic. In order to handle such a rising international interest, one of Greenland’s main challenges is capacity building. Greenland has talents, but too few to handle such an interest.
The first step should therefore be to redefine the scope of Europe’s neighborhood strategy in order to include the Sahel area as a whole. For obvious historical reasons, France will continue to be more involved in the stability of this part of Africa than other countries, but the development of new safe havens for terrorism and transnational crime in the region should be considered a threat to all European national interests, just as instability in the Caucasus should concern Western European countries. At this point, France has neither the political will nor the capacity to assert sole leadership in a vast region stretching from Senegal to the Horn of Africa.
The United States and the United Kingdom are trying to thwart the existence of CSTO, developing their relations with the countries of Central Asia and Armenia. In addition, political intentions are referred to that any support to CSTO would boost the influence of Russia on the post-Soviet states, including the support of totalitarian and not so very democratic regimes. However, neither the United States, nor the United Kingdom is trying to boost pressure on any of these states with a view to destroying CSTO. This policy is linked not only to reluctance to boost confrontation but also the understanding of localization and regional restrictions of this bloc which does threaten the West and NATO.
Currently the geopolitical picture of Central Eastern Europe is not fully drawn. Even membership of most countries of the region to NATO has not resulted in full understanding of the role and importance of these states in the geopolitical perspectives of Europe and Eurasia.
At the same time, as it was presumed earlier, these states, particularly Poland and Romania, are going to play a more important role in the arrangement of forces in the space spanning from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
On July 1, 2013 Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) received another boost by the launch of a geostationary satellite. Though the rocket has a presumable reach of 6000 km but this apparently peaceful advancement in space has military potential. For instance, it is a step towards India’s gradually building anti-ballistic missile defense shield and enhancement of its reconnaissance potential. One wonders if this potential militarization of space will ultimately lead to weaponisation and compel New Delhi’s current and future adversaries to respond in letter and in spirit.
Scores of militants linked to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, now locked in an explosive confrontation with the Egyptian army over the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader, are reported to have moved into the Sinai Peninsula to fight the military.
They’re expected to join forces with jihadist groups linked to al-Qaida who have established bases in Sinai’s vast desert wastes since 2011 and are already clashing with Egyptian security forces.
Despite harsh criticism from two northern legislators and an outcry from anti-mining activists, a spokesman for Gogebic Taconite said Tuesday that armed, paramilitary-style guards will continue to patrol the site deep in the Penokee Range where the company wants to build a large open pit iron mine.
Bob Seitz, a Madison lobbyist representing Gogebic, said the guards are necessary because of a confrontation between 15 to 20 protesters and an unknown number of mine workers a month ago.
Algeria is to build military bases near major oil and gas facilities in the country’s south to guarantee fast response in case of danger, a security source told Xinhua on Tuesday. Since May, Algeria’s Ministry of National Defense has been engaged with local construction firms in setting up bases near oil and gas fields in Hassi Messaoud in the province of Ouargla, some 800 km southeast of Algiers, in Tin Fouye Tabankort of In Amenas in the province of Illizi, about 1,700 km southeast of Algiers, and also in Adrar, 1,500 km southwest of the capital, the source anonymously told Xinhua.
Japan has no intention to go it alone in defending its territory or national interests from growing threats in the Asia-Pacific region. But an annual defense review released Tuesday and other recent developments signal an increasing willingness on the part of Japan to go it alone, first.
Japan plans to establish a new National Security Council that would streamline how and when Tokyo would use military force, appoint a senior officer to command troops from all three armed services, and formally designate a Marine Corps-like force to defend its vulnerable southwest islands.
India and South Korea share remarkable common interests – all the more remarkable considering how far apart they are geographically, in area, population, average income, living conditions and climate. And then consider how different are Indians and Koreans in ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, religious beliefs and influences. It’s hard to imagine two such important nations and societies with so little in common, yet so closely bound by security and economic considerations.
How many nuclear weapons and delivery systems does a country need as an effective deterrent against the threats of attack? Finding an acceptable balance is critically important in Asia, where four of the world’s nine nuclear-armed states are located.Asia may be sliding into a nuclear arms race, aggravated by underlying tensions and mistrust. As one nuclear weapons state enlarges its arsenal, other regional atomic powers do the same. SIPRI estimated that China, India and Pakistan had each added about 10 warheads to their operational stockpiles in 2012.
While it may be a lesser-known region, Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a buffer between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. The development of water resources flowing from Gilgit-Baltistan could improve the livelihood of rural Pakistan and thus lessen manpower heading towards extremist groups. Empowerment of the region could be accomplished through development assistance and encouragement of the local population by the transatlantic community. The dispute between India and Pakistan over the territory of the former princely state Jammu and Kashmir is mostly referred to as the Kashmir dispute.
Few outside the intelligence community had heard of activity-based intelligence until December, when the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency awarded BAE Systems $60 million to develop products based on this newish methodology. But ABI, which focuses not on specific targets but on events, movements and transactions in a given area, is rapidly emerging as a powerful tool for understanding adversary networks and solving quandaries presented by asymmetrical warfare and big data.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood called for an “uprising” on Monday after dozens 35 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were killed at dawn when security forces opened fire on them as they were praying, and urged international intervention to prevent a “new Syria.”
“Morsi supporters were praying while the police and army fired live rounds and tear gas at them. This led to around 35 dead and the figure is likely to rise,” the Brotherhood said in a statement
The top U.S. special operations commander, Adm. William McRaven, ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.
The secret move, described briefly in a draft report by the Pentagon’s inspector general, set off no alarms within the Obama administration even though it appears to have sidestepped federal rules and perhaps also the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
With unrest in Egypt, U.S. military officials looking for insight might test the ties they formed with the Egyptian defense minister, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, when he was a student at the Army War College.
“In this little historical Pennsylvania town, the most important school in the world operates under the radar,” said retired Col. Stephen Gerras, a professor of behavioral science at the Carlisle Barracks.
In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say. The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny.
India will sign a trilateral maritime cooperation agreement with Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in a move to counter China’s bid to spread its strategic footprint in the Indian Ocean region, the Deccan Herald reported. Sources told Deccan Herald that the agreement, to be signed during the NSA’s visit to Sri Lanka, will seek to set up a mechanism for trilateral cooperation in maritime security, information sharing, cooperation on search and rescue in the Indian Ocean region, surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zones, collective response to marine oil pollution and capacity building through training and exercises.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants a mutual security pact with the United States that would compel the super power to protect Afghanistan against Pakistan. Under the pact, the U.S., if possible, even take direct military action against Taliban havens on Pakistani soil, the New York Times quoted Afghan sources as saying. According to the newspaper, Karzai was fumed that Washington’s attempt to begin peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar was in reality an attempt to cut him out and make an American deal with the Taliban.
Protestors demonstrating against the continued presence of unofficial brigades in the country are threatening, once they gather enough people, to take on the militias. “Later today we plan to peacefully march to Martyrs Square and, when we have enough people, we will go on to the headquarters of these militias,” one of the protest organisers told the Libya Herald. Protestors came not just from Tripoli, but outlying towns including Zintan and Zawia, according to army officer Laith Alhasi.
The Indian navy and army are looking East and pursuing strategic defence ties with regional allies FOUR Indian Navy ships’ voyage last month through the strategic Malacca Straits, calling at Port Klang, Da Nang and Manila, though not extraordinary, points to a significant trend. Slowly, India seems to be shedding what critics call its “landlocked mindset” and is surveying the vast expanse of water around it. A country conducting maritime trade from times immemorial rarely flaunted its naval power. Its navy came into being, thanks to the British East India Company only four centuries ago.
The British government is preparing a “substantial” new package of military assistance to the Lebanese Army to supplement its existing program, according to British diplomatic sources. The new package, which will triple in one year the British government’s total military assistance to the Lebanese Army since 2006, was the focus of discussions Friday between Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi and other top military officials and Gen. Sir David Richards, the British chief of the defense staff, who was on a visit to Beirut.
Unification of the armed forces does not represent security threat to Serbia, for now, but none of the security experts does not rule out that situation. There is almost no doubt that the military agreement, signed in Prizren by Agim Ceku and Albanian Defence Minister Arben Imami, is a small step in the creation of a Greater Albania, with the consent of the great powers. Although Serbia and northern Kosovo are not threatened at the moment, there is a justified concern that two united Albanian armies could threaten the region.
The Indian Ocean Rim countries boast of two-thirds of global oil reserves and one-third of gas reserves. Despite these huge reserves, the region has not achieved its full potential.
The two-day Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) Economic and Business Conference here noted that energy security is vital to ensure smooth running of the other component of economies.
The Turkish government has plans to make a slight change to its laws to prevent coups. The contentious point in the constitution – Article 35 – has been used as justification by instigators of past coups.
Since 1960, there have been four military coups in Turkey that threw out elected governments. The last time a coup threatened the government in Turkey was 2007, when the military had a stand-off with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, the government is considering a historic step: changing Article 35 of the Turkish military’s internal laws.
According to a Customs and Border Protection report obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the agency has considered adding weapons to its Predator drones that currently serve as the agency’s eyes in the sky on the lookout for undocumented immigrants and drug trafficking coming across the border.
A section of the heavily redacted 107-page report that deals with the equipment mounted on the drones states that “Additional payload upgrades could include expendables or non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize [targets of interest].”
Fighting in Afghanistan could be stopped “in weeks” if Pakistan told the Taliban to end the insurgency, the head of the Afghan army has told the BBC. Gen Sher Mohammad Karimi said Pakistan controlled and gave shelter to Taliban leaders, deliberately unleashing fighters on Afghanistan. Pakistan denies controlling the militant group. It was one of the Taliban’s main supporters from its launch in 1994 until the 2001 fall of the regime. Most of the Taliban’s leaders reportedly then fled to Pakistan and the group is still considered to be heavily dependent on the support of certain elements in the country.
The Ghana Armed Forces, along with U.S. Army Africa, concluded week one of exercise Western Accord 13 and began a command post exercise at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Accra, Ghana.
Western Accord 13 is a two-part exercise that includes academics and a command post exercise. In part one, participants received classes focused on collective tasks, functional, and staff procedures in support of command and control of a peacekeeping operation based on real world events.
NATO has asked Hungary to establish and further develop capabilities during the period 2014-2028 in a way that coincides with Hungary’s national military strategy, Defence Minister Csaba Hende said on Tuesday.
Hungary should develop an infantry unit by 2023, set up a new helicopter fleet, strengthen special operational capabilities and develop stabilisation and reconstruction capabilities – all in line with its national interests, he told a meeting of military and air attaches in Budapest.
The council plans to hold a meeting in Riyadh on Thursday to agree on mechanisms for imposing sanctions on Hizbullah members residing in Gulf countries, including not renewing residency permits and targeting their financial and business activities, GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif al-Zayani said. The sanctions would be implemented “in co-ordination [...] with ministers of commerce and the central banks of the GCC”, he added. Recently, Qatari authorities deported 18 Lebanese expatriates allegedly affiliated with Hizbullah.
The Egyptian Armed Forces issued a televised statement on Monday afternoon giving Egyptian political forces 48 hours to “fulfil the people’s demands,” otherwise the armed forces would present a political “roadmap” for the country that would include all political currents.
“The Egyptian Armed Forces will not become involved in politics or administration; it is satisfied with its role as is spelt out in line with democratic norms,” read the statement, stressing that Egyptian national security was in “great danger” and referring to the armed forces’ “responsibility” to step in if national security was threatened.
Beijing sent paramilitary police into the streets this weekend and dispatched its top law enforcement official to the northwestern province of Xinjiang in a high-profile show of force after a week when at least 35 people died in the worst sectarian violence since large-scale unrest in 2009.
Eyewitnesses in the capital, Urumqi, where a large security force presence was deployed on Saturday, said the situation had calmed by Sunday and travellers returning from areas affected by the violence reported no unrest and only slightly heightened security along the way.
Russia’s ultimate geo-strategic goal is to re-frame a continental block against the Atlantic powers, by making use of the vast strategic and demographic potential of the Eurasian continent. Following this approach, Russia should adopt a multi-dimensional foreign policy waiving close relations with the EU, China and the regional powers, such as Iran and Turkey. The Post-Soviet Space stresses the historical and cultural affinities with the Slavic communities and represents a pivotal area for Moscow’s external projection. Energy links are the key tools of political leverage for Russia’s power projection.
North Korea has deployed new rocket launchers along its border capable of hitting targets beyond Seoul, a report said Sunday. Artillery units from the North were spotted replacing older multiple rocket stations with an upgraded version of the 240mm guns, Yonhap news agency said. The agency quoted an unnamed government official as saying the new multiple rocket launchers with a maximum range of 70 kilometres (42 miles) could extend their reach beyond the South Korean capital. The South’s defence ministry declined to confirm the report.
Jordanians are suspicious about US weapons and troops being deployed to the kingdom, even if Washington seeks to help its ally protect itself from a possible spillover of Syrian violence, experts say.
Worried about the security of Jordan, which is already struggling to cope with around 550,000 refugees from its war-torn northern neighbor, the United States has kept F-16 warplanes and Patriot missiles in the country since a joint military exercise ended on June 20.
International concerns have been raised by Pakistan’s growing nuclear arsenal, while Beijing has faced much criticism for its co-operation over nuclear energy with Islamabad.
Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who turned the country nuclear in 1998, sought Chinese assistance in the field of civil nuclear technology to overcome the country’s energy crisis during a meeting with visiting Premier Li Keqiang in Islamabad last month. Indeed, there are indications that nuclear co-operation is now going to be the prime driver of the Sino-Pakistan strategic partnership.
Myanmar migrant Yaza Min came to Malaysia several years ago seeking a better life but instead has hidden for more than three weeks in a temple, fearing for his safety as Muslim-Buddhist violence back home spilled over.
Secretarian bloodshed between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims erupted in Myanmar a year ago, leaving about 200 people dead, up to 140,000 homeless, and raising fears of wider instability in the region as refugees flee the country. Recent incidents in nearby Malaysia and Indonesia are feeding those concerns.
This morning, Xinjiang made it into the news again with another violent clash. In Lukqun township, outside the city of Turpan, protesters attacked a police station, government offices, and a construction site. The mob apparently carried knives in the attack and set police cars on fire, which caused the death of nine security personnel and eight civilians. Information about violent incidents in Xinjiang is always difficult to ascertain. The news is strictly controlled by the Chinese government and foreign media coverage usually consists of state media reports.
Norwegian energy company Statoil said last week it was forming a special operations division to handle emergency operations in response to a terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in Algeria. The company said it would double the amount of employees it had designated for existing security operations after reviewing the measures in place at the In Amenas gas facility. A January attack there left employees with Statoil and BP dead in what al-Qaida said was a response to French intervention in Mali.
The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.
The bases would allow the Philippines to station warships and fighter jets just 124 nautical miles from Scarborough Shoal, a contentious area of the South China Sea now controlled by China after a tense standoff last year.
Russia has withdrawn all its military personnel from Syria and left its strategic Tartus naval centre unstaffed because of the escalating security threat in the war-torn country, the Vedomosti daily said Wednesday.
The source said the decision was taken to limit the dangers posed to Russians amid a raging civil war and to reduce the threat of political damage that could result from Russians being killed by either side.
Fighting erupted in Tripoli on Wednesday when gunmen tried to free comrades seized by ex-rebels, and an army officer was assassinated in Benghazi, highlighting Libya’s continuing insecurity nearly two years after dictator Moamer Kadhafi fell.
The clashes broke out in the Abu Slim area near the centre of the capital, a security official said, and gunfire from heavy weapons could be heard in several areas of the city. Plumes of smoke could be seen rising into the sky above Abu Slim, an AFP journalist at the scene said.
The hostility between India and Pakistan, ongoing for more than 60 years, lies at the heart of the current war in Afghanistan. Most observers in the west view the conflict as a battle between Nato on one hand, and al-Qaida and the Taliban on the other. In reality this has long since ceased to be the case – we think this is about us, but it’s not. Instead our troops are now caught up in a complex war shaped by two pre-existing conflicts: one internal, the other regional.
“As an Alliance of democracies, we are gratified when countries sharing similar values reach out to us,” the Deputy Secretary General said during his meeting with Minister Pinzón Bueno.
Ambassador Vershbow said that Allies have agreed to pursue tailored cooperation with Colombia on a case-by-case basis, in areas of common interest and that by signing this accord NATO and Colombia stress their shared interest in consultation and cooperation. The Security of Information Agreement does not formally recognize Colombia as a NATO partner but constitutes a first step for future cooperation in the security field.
Libya is becoming an important transit hub for terrorists, constituting an “extremely dangerous” development in the region, an African Union leader said Tuesday on the sidelines of a regional security meeting in Algeria.
“I have many reports which say Libya has become an important transit hub for the main terrorist groups travelling from one country to another,” said Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, the AU’s special representative in charge of counter terrorism.
Egyptian president Mohammad Mursi suggested in a private meeting with security officials the announcing of a state of emergency if security matters got out of hand during planned opposition protests next week, Gulf News has learned.
The defence and interior ministers left a high profile meeting with Mursi regarding security plans on Wednesday in frustration and disappointment, turning down a suggestion by the president to declare a state of emergency if violence got out of control, government sources told Gulf News.
The Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) began to monitor social networking sites on 700 subjects, defined by the agency, in order to keep the government informed about demonstrations and organized movements in the country.
Abin is not the first intelligence agency in the world to create a system of monitoring Internet networks. Thus, to prevent any future unpredicted aggressions Abin created a monitoring system called Mosaic, which filters the posts on community networks.
Defence engagement, a catch-all term for non-operational military activity through which to achieve influence internationally, is gaining momentum as a core military task for both the US and the UK. The rationale for this is the need, in an age of fiscal constraint, to derive greater utility from the armed forces: no longer can a force simply drill in barracks while awaiting the next conflict. Furthermore, the most important lesson learned in Iraq and Afghanistan is that victory cannot be achieved through brute force alone.
The US military has failed to prepare a realistic “plan B” if political turmoil forces the closure of a vital naval base in Bahrain, a naval officer argues in a report released Monday.
The Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain is the most US important maritime base in the Middle East but senior officers have become complacent about its future, Commander Richard McDaniel asserts. “Surprisingly, military leaders have no ‘Plan B’ if strategic access in Bahrain is jeopardized,” McDaniel wrote, in a paper published by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
Ever wonder what the largest private armies in the world are? Even though nowadays many countries are struggling to protect peace, there are several official “war” conflict zones on Earth. In many cases, major countries can interfere with their own troops. However, in order to prevent the risk of losing soldiers from a national army, or in case a country doesn’t have enough of a military force, a government can hire mercenaries. Mercenaries are soldiers who are fighting in exchange for a gain or material compensation.
Russia considers its military base in Armenia to be vital for the South Caucasus country’s national security and will continue to strengthen it with modern weaponry, a visiting top Kremlin official said on Monday, Asbarez.com reported.
“I think the presence of Russian servicemen is a guarantee that there will be no negative developments in Armenia,” Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said at the headquarters of the base in the northwestern Armenian city of Gyumri.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has said that secret arms caches were created across the country on his instructions. The state security service of the Georgian Interior Ministry announced a week ago that it had found secret caches of weapons, drugs and videotaped acts of torture hidden in Samegrelo, western Georgia, set up by high-ranking ministry officials under the previous government.
The police said the find also includes an archive of photographs and personal files of opposition members “who were to be framed and arrested if the pro-presidential United National Movement won the October 1, 2012 parliamentary elections.”
Egypt’s top ranking defense official warned Sunday that the military was “ready to intervene to stop the violence” ahead of scheduled mass protests to mark the one-year anniversary this week of Mohammed Morsi’s inauguration as Egypt’s first democratically elected president.
Defense Minister Abdel-Fatah el Sissi’s comments were the most forceful to date by a senior official of Egypt’s revered military in response to months of unrest and seemed to threaten the possibility of a military coup if protests lead to bloodshed or, as el Sissi described it, “uncontrollable conflict.”
An interesting proposition for the emergence of a distinctly northern European security arrangement has been circulating the airwaves: a UK-led initiative that would see London align security and defence policies in the Arctic in tandem with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The goal is to establish a framework that addresses ‘common interests’ between each nation. This article is going to look at the possible architecture of such a structure, what its goals might be, and the reasons the UK has to begin this partnership.
RUSSIA, the world’s largest crude producer, is shying away from Europe – as far as crude supplies are concerned – ramping up instead supplies to China. And as the process gains pace, new alliances are springing up on the global energy chessboard while the old ones are being discarded. The small, yet, strategic shift in target markets is providing Moscow not only with an opportunity to end its reliance on weak, saturated and somewhat fragmented European markets, but is also a major source of instant, handy cash at a time of great need.