web analytics

Tag Archives: United States

DoD weighs major COCOM realignment

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.

Read More Comments Off

Sensors Report Gunfire Directly to Police in 70 U.S. Cities, No 911 Call Needed

ShotSpotter, the dominant gunfire detection technology on the market, gathers data from a network of acoustic sensors placed at 30-foot elevation under a mile apart. To cut costs, most cities use the sensors only in selected areas. The system filters the data through an algorithm that isolates the sound of gunfire. If shots are fired anywhere in the coverage area, the software triangulates their location to within about 10 feet and reports the activity to the police dispatcher.

Read More Comments Off

Triangulum Intel and Strategic Analysis: Volume 1

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.

Read More Comments Off

Energy Security: Asia’s Achilles Heel

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.

Read More Comments Off

Why Energy Companies And The Military Want Underwater Drones

Giant submarines filled with small underwater drones to protect the seas. The concept sounds like something out of a science fiction movie or a particularly trippy Sealab 2021 episode, but the U.S. military thinks it is very doable–and that it could help augment American sea power. This week, DARPA announced their new Project Hydra, an early-stage effort to fight the “rising number of ungoverned states, piracy, and proliferation of sophisticated defenses“ through autonomous underwater vehicles. Hydra itself would center around a submarine that discreetly injects unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles into warzones.

Read More Comments Off

Nicaragua Buying Gunboats For Its Waters

The purchase of six gunboats that Nicaragua is negotiating with Russia is quite a concern to the Government of Costa Rica as they would be used to patrol its seas and exclusive economic zone. When you take a money amker out of the hands of the Costa Rican government they get angry. According to a publication of the New Journal of Nicaragua, the new frigates for the Nicaraguan Navy will be prepared in the Fair-Nevsky Shipyard inSt. Petersburg, and have a strong ability to attack in case of conflicts.

Read More Comments Off

Rival factions in Yemeni army clash in capital

Soldiers once loyal to Yemen’s ousted president Saleh, protesting against what they say is neglect by the new leadership, clashed with a rival faction of the military in Sanaa on Friday, police and witnesses said. The hundreds of soldiers protesting were former members of Yemen’s elite Republican Guard, which was run by Saleh’s powerful son and which Saleh’s successor, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, abolished last year in a bid to unify the army. Yemen’s military remains divided between allies and opponents of Saleh, who stepped down in a Gulf-brokered deal in 2012 after a year of protests against his rule, but still looms large in Yemen.

Read More Comments Off

U.S. to deploy mobile radar in Kyoto Prefecture to detect missile launches

The Kyoto governor and Kyotango mayor will allow the U.S. military to set up a facility on the Tango Peninsula facing the Sea of Japan to monitor North Korean missile launches. Kyoto Governor Keiji Yamada and Kyotango Mayor Yasushi Nakayama agreed at a meeting on Aug. 1 to accept the facility, which was part of an agreement reached between the Japanese and U.S. governments to deploy the mobile X-band Radar. The radar will transmit data on ballistic missile launches to warships equipped with Aegis air defense systems and ground-based interceptor missile sites.

Read More Comments Off

Russia’s Middle-East End Game, at the Hands of the Post-Soviet Grandmaster

Vladimir Putin, now in power for over 13 years, has a history with the United States, his one-time opponent on the global chessboard. He began by mending ties with NATO, broken during the Kosovo conflict, and then actually applying for membership in the alliance that once faced off against the Red Army. In the wake of Sept. 11, Putin not only called George W. Bush, but also gave practical and substantive support to U.S. operations in Afghanistan—and tolerated a large U.S. military presence in former Soviet Central Asia.

Read More Comments Off

Japan shown U.S. military facilities to confirm ‘nuclear umbrella’

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.

Read More Comments Off

China Will Soon Face Arc Of US F-35s, Other Fighters, Bombers

The American who leads the leading edge of our sword in the Pacific — the Air Force — worries that China‘s sometimes “aggressive approach” in using its fighters, bombers and ships to signal its territorial claims across the Pacific creates “the potential” for a serious incident in the region. But Air Force Gen. Herb “Hawk” Carlisle carefully calibrated his response, praising the “professionalism” of the pilots engaged in the cat and mouse game across the Pacific.

Read More Comments Off

Joint Intelligence: Pine Gap, Australia’s most secretive location

Pine Gap is a secretive facility nearly 20km south-west of Alice Springs which has been there since 1970. Run by both Australia and the United States, its official name is the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap, even though our government really hates to admit it exists.
Pine Gap is essentially a satellite tracking station, situated in the middle of nowhere because that makes it hard for other countries to intercept the signals emitted from within. It is thought that the US controls all of its spy satellites from Pine Gap, and that the US and Australia “listen to Asia” from the 14 antennae concealed beneath white domes at Pine Gap.

Read More Comments Off

CIA’s favorite Saudi prince is laying the groundwork for a post-Assad Syria

From Washington’s perspective, Bandar’s appointment is important news. Sure, his wife was investigated by Congress a decade ago about her connections to Al-Qaida activists. But Bandar is considered the CIA’s man in Riyadh. When there was a need to transfer money to the Nicaraguan rebels in the 1980s, Bandar dealt with the Saudi “grants” requested by the White House. He also arranged things when Saudi Arabia was asked to help fund the mujahideen’s battles in Afghanistan against the Soviets.

Read More Comments Off

Bahrain: The Arab Spring Protests You Don’t Know About

I am astonished by how little the media has covered the ongoing protests in Bahrain, Kuwait, and eastern Saudi Arabia. You would think that the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council states would be under a microscope, because what happens there immediately affects oil prices. But large media corporations have opted not to cover events in these countries, so as not to cause market panic. And there is a lot to panic about. The Arab Spring, or something like it, in Bahrain is all about Sunni-Shia tensions. Bahraini Shia make up almost 70% of the country’s total population.

Read More Comments Off

Is the U.S. Ramping Up a Secret War in Somalia?

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.

Read More Comments Off

Ten reasons why Egypt is vital to US economy and security

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.

Read More Comments Off

‘Act of war’: U.S. general gives options for Syria military intervention

The top U.S. general has set out five options for military intervention in Syria in a non-classified letter made public Monday. Despite outlining the options, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey stressed that the decision of whether to go to war was one for civilian leaders. In his July 19 letter, he pointed out that the use of the options would be a political decision that should not be carried out lightly and would be, “no less than an act of war.” The options range from nonlethal intelligence and weapons training to a boots-on-the-ground plan to “assault and secure” the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons.

Read More Comments Off

UAE buys two French military surveillance satellites

UAE buys two French surveillance satellites

The United Arab Emirates ordered two military surveillance satellites from France on Monday, in a deal worth more than 700 million euros ($913.2 million). The Falcon Eye deal, signed in Abu Dhabi over competition from Lockheed Martin of the United States, includes the supply and launch of two high-resolution Helios surveillance satellites, a control station and training for 20 UAE engineers. The two satellites will be built by Astrium, the space division of EADS, and Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between French Thales and Italian Finmeccanica.

Read More Comments Off

Chilean and Peruvian generals meet amid rumors of military build-up

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.

Read More Comments Off

KBR building Aegis base in Romania

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.

Read More Comments Off

STRATCOM commander discusses mission, future of Global Strike

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.

Read More Comments Off

Panama stops N. Korean ship, says missile material found

Panama’s president said that a North Korean ship captain tried to kill himself after the vessel was stopped en route from Cuba and found to have suspected missile material on board. Outlining a dramatic sequence of events, President Ricardo Martinelli said the ship was targeted by drug enforcement officials as it approached the Panama Canal and was taken into port, but a search revealed a cargo of far greater concern. The vessel’s estimated 35-man crew also rioted when police stepped aboard, according to Martinelli, who said the suspicious cargo was found within a massive consignment of sugar.

Read More Comments Off

Egyptian Army’s Training and Firepower Overwhelmingly U.S.-Supplied

With massive firepower at its command, the Egyptian security forces are armed with a wide range of mostly U.S-supplied weapons, ranging from fighter planes, combat helicopters, warships and missiles to riot-controlled equipment such as armoured personnel carriers, recoilless rifles, sub-machine guns, rubber bullets, handguns and tear gas grenades.Additionally, Egypt receives grants under the International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme, amounting to about 1.3 million to about 1.9 million dollars annually, plus about 250 million dollars annually in economic aid.

Read More Comments Off

Building a ‘common EU vision’ for Sahel security

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”.

Read More Comments Off

US military eyes deeper military footprint in Philippines

The United States is negotiating an agreement to allow it to position military equipment and rotating personnel in the Philippines while avoiding the controversial issue of re-establishing US bases in the country, officials from both countries say.

The negotiations for increased military access by the US take place against the backdrop of simmering tensions between the Philippines and China over areas in the South China Sea claimed by both countries. The Philippines, which has a small navy and air force, is relying on support from the United States to modernise its military and upgrade its capabilities.

Read More Comments Off

Air Force 2027: Fewer pilots, more drones, more challenges

The Air Force of the future is likely to be slightly smaller and more reliant on remotely piloted aircraft, face growing challenges from the rise of Asia and rapidly increasing space traffic, and struggle to maintain its technological superiority as the United States produces fewer scientists, engineers and other highly skilled graduates. In the report, called “Global Horizons: United States Air Force Global Science and Technology Vision,” Maybury said that the Air Force’s manned air fleet is likely to shrink slightly by 2027. But the Air Force’s fleets of remotely piloted aircraft and their missions are likely to grow.

Read More Comments Off

Greenland and the Arctic: Still a role for the EU

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.

Read More Comments Off

Reap The Whirlwind: Inside The Power Center of Algeria

Those who wanted to believe Bouteflika dead were disappointed, those who plotted against him in the interim shelved their plans, those who longed for a huge succession fight realized they’d wasted their time, and those who dreamed of a new day for their country would have to dream of something else instead. And just you wait, Bouteflika will punish them all. He will go after everyone who declined to come out and mourn for him, who failed to organize fervent processions, to sacrifice sheep, to make offerings like in the days of the sultans.

Read More Comments Off

British Report: International cybermercenaries for hire

A British intelligence report said Wednesday that other nations are hiring hackers to launch attacks against their enemies, a trend it described as particularly worrying. The warning over cybermercenaries came in an annual report published by Britain’s Intelligence and Security Committee, a watchdog body of senior lawmakers that oversees Britain’s spy agencies. Citing testimony from British eavesdropping agency GCHQ, the report described the mercenaries as “skilled cyber professionals undertaking attacks on diverse targets such as financial institutions and energy companies.

Read More Comments Off

Why the Sahel Is Crucial to Europe’s Neighborhood — and Its Security Strategy

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.

Read More Comments Off

U.S. Navy ships in Red Sea move close to Egypt as precaution

Two U.S. Navy ships patrolling in the Middle East moved closer to Egypt’s Red Sea coast in recent days, the top Marine Corps general said on Thursday, in what appeared to be a precautionary move after the military overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi. “Egypt is (in) a crisis right now,” Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos told the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. “When that happens, what we owe the senior leadership of our nation are some options,” Amos said. He did not say what the options were.

Read More Comments Off

Air Supremacy: Why Israel dominates global drone exports

The biggest exporter of unmanned aerial vehicles, which are fast becoming essential to governments worldwide for both military and civilian uses, isn’t the United States, China or other major power. The big winner in this booming global market is Israel. And that creates a lot of geopolitical complications, for the obvious reasons. Thanks to massive budget cuts and tanking economies, many Western governments, especially in Europe and the United States, are slashing defense spending and eliminating big-ticket weapons systems.

Read More Comments Off

Fast And Furious 2?: U.S. arms showing up in hands of pro-Assad militias

U.S. and Western weapons have been reaching Iranian-backed Shiite militias fighting to keep Bashar Assad’s forces in power in Syria. Analysts say it’s unclear if the weapons were captured, stolen or bought on the black market in Syria, Turkey, Iraq or Libya. Propaganda photographs from Shiite militias posted on dozens of websites and Facebook pages show the weapons were acquired in new condition, said Phillip Smyth, an analyst for Jihadology.net, a site affiliated with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Read More Comments Off

‘Middle-class revolution’ fuels Pentagon war plan

The new middle class is “much more likely to engage in political activism to get their way.” Not just protests and civil unrest but revolutions — the kind predicted by the Pentagon a decade ago. This “threatening gap between rapidly rising expectations and a disappointing reality” will have enormous implications for China’s stability. Reading “Middle-Class Revolution” and other Fukuyama works, it is obvious that the “Pentagon 2020” war scenario is accelerating everywhere — across Asia, India, Africa, Europe, South America and the United States — fueled by capitalists who only see population growth as an opportunity for new consumer markets.

Read More Comments Off

NATO Policy on CSTO

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.

Read More Comments Off

Geopolitical Role For Romania

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.

Read More Comments Off

US and China: The Fight for Latin America

China and the United States are also encountering a more confident and more unified Latin America. It is a region that has sought autonomy in its own affairs by way of rising blocs such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, MERCOSUR, and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), among others. Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, also seeks a prominent role the region with large investments in research and development and the introduction of social programs to revamp the middle class.

Read More Comments Off

Dracula’s Missile Defense

Things are beginning to move on the Pentagon’s plan to build a ground-based missile-defense system in Romania to protect U.S. allies in southern Europe – as well as American troops in the region – from attack by Iranian missiles. The latest sign is this Pentagon solicitation seeking “100mb [megabyte] direct access with internet routable IP addresses for MDA [Missile Defense Agency] contractors onsite” at Romania’s Deveselu air base near Caracal. The U.S. anti-missile base will consist of 430 acres surrounded by base property, and be run by about 200 U.S. military and civilian personnel.

Read More Comments Off

Somali American caught up in a shadowy Pentagon counterpropaganda campaign

After Abdiwali Warsame embraced the First Amendment by creating a raucous Web site about his native Somalia. Packed with news and controversial opinions, it rapidly became a magnet for Somalis dispersed around the world, including tens of thousands in Minnesota. The popularity of the site, also attracted the attention of the Defense Department. A military contractor, working for U.S. Special Operations forces to “counter nefarious influences” in Africa, began monitoring the Web site and compiled a confidential research dossier about its founder and its content.

Read More Comments Off

FISA Expands NSA Powers In Deep Secret

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.

Read More Comments Off

Karzai wants US guarantee to strike Pak militarily in case country’s security threatened

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.

Read More Comments Off

Britain to step up aid to Lebanese Army

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.

Read More Comments Off

In Okinawa, Talk of Break From Japan Turns Serious

Higa and others admit that few islanders would actually seek independence for Okinawa, the southernmost Japanese island chain, which is home to 1.4 million residents and more than half of the 50,000 U.S. troops and sailors based in Japan. But discontent with the heavy U.S. presence and a growing perception that the central government is ignoring Okinawans’ pleas to reduce it have made an increasing number of islanders willing to flirt publicly with the idea of breaking apart in a way that local politicians and scholars say they have not seen in decades.

Read More Comments Off

U.S. tactical nuclear weapons more an irritant than deterrent

You’ve heard of planned obsolescence — tactical nuclear weapons are a case of deferred obsolescence: a weapon that has long ago worn out its welcome in the U.S. arsenal. Politically, however, there are still voices that argue that even a bomb with no military utility is “reassuring” to certain allies, and that storing this artifact in European bunkers and maintaining allied aircraft capable of dropping this bomb is a valuable demonstration of NATO “burden sharing.” Moreover, these proponents are prepared to pay — or rather, have the U.S. pay — $10 billion to modernize and store the B61.

Read More Comments Off

U.S. space-based missile alert system moves forward

“The SBIRS program delivers timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, combatant commanders, the intelligence community and other key decision makers,” Lockheed Martin said.

The aerospace manufacturer said the system, in addition to enhancing global missile launch detection capability, would support the ballistic missile defense system, expand technical intelligence gathering capacity and bolster situational awareness for fighters on a battlefield.

Read More Comments Off

Western Accord 13 command post exercise begins

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.

Read More Comments Off

Diplomatic Channels And Chess Pieces: Kremlin’s Strategic Interests In Romania

A number of recent developments have raised several important questions related to Romania’s position geostrategic game involved: Traian Basescu decided to thaw relations with Russia? If so, our initiative or movement suggested by the United States?If not, then what looked to Bucharest Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council? How will this visit extremely important main issues of contention: Moldova, missile shield, imported high gas prices? We change some parameters of our strategic partnership with the U.S.?

Read More Comments Off

US military deployment makes Jordanians wary

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.

Read More Comments Off

PH rebukes China for militarizing sea

The Philippines on Sunday accused China of a “massive military buildup” in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), warning a Southeast Asian security forum that Beijing’s tactics were a threat to peace in the region.

Following the harsh rhetoric of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, China agreed to hold formal talks with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on a proposed code of conduct to ease tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

Read More Comments Off

Philippine military plans air, naval bases in Subic with access for US forces

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.

Read More Comments Off

U.S. has no ‘plan B’ for Bahrain naval base: officer

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.

Read More Comments Off

US soldiers in Sinai a ‘precautionary measure’

American troops being deployed to Sinai this summer are doing so as part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeeping force that has been present there since 1982, the armed forces said in an official statement Saturday. Reports had been circulating on Thursday on the Washington Times and state-run Al-Ahram websites that United States soldiers were being deployed on Egyptian soil to combat riots. Major Ahmed Shaaban told Daily News Egypt that such claims are inaccurate. “They are only training as a precautionary measure,” said Shaaban.

Read More Comments Off

United States will modernize the Saudi Arabian National Guard with military equipment

The continuation of services under the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program is an evolution of Saudi Arabia as an effective defensive force with the advice, assistance, and training of the U.S. Army. The Modernization Program ensures necessary training, logistics, support, doctrine development and force integration for the continuing expansion and use of their weapon systems. These services will remain the cornerstone of an effort to upgrade and enhance the infrastructure of this organization.

Read More Comments Off

Pest Control: Syngenta’s Secret Campaign to Discredit Atrazine’s Critics

To protect profits threatened by a lawsuit over its controversial herbicide atrazine, Syngenta Crop Protection launched an aggressive multi-million dollar campaign that included hiring a detective agency to investigate scientists on a federal advisory panel, looking into the personal life of a judge and commissioning a psychological profile of a leading scientist critical of atrazine.Recently unsealed court documents reveal a corporate strategy to discredit critics and to strip plaintiffs from the class-action case.

Read More Comments Off

Persian Gulf states ‘unable to protect themselves’ despite military buildups

Despite massive spending on Western weapons, the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf are “unable to secure themselves from any external threat” — meaning Iran — and are running up huge public and foreign debt, a Gulf think tank says.

The GCC states — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman — have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons and military equipment from the United States and Europe over the last three decades.

Read More Comments Off

Canada’s Cloak of Eternal Secrecy: gov’t wants secrets kept under wraps forever!

The Harper government wants to pull the cloak of eternal secrecy over past and present employees of nine federal agencies and those who used to toil at two now-defunct branches. They would join the more than 12,000 current and former federal intelligence officials already covered by Security of Information Act provisions forcing them to take the secrets of their most closely held work to the grave. A group that advocates a more open and accountable federal government called the blanket proposal “dangerously undemocratic.”

Read More Comments Off

Morsi cuts Egypt’s Syria ties, backs no-fly zone

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus on Saturday and called for a no-fly zone over Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state firmly against President Bashar al-Assad.

Addressing a rally called by Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, the Sunni Islamist head of state said: “We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime.” He also warned Assad’s allies in the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite militia Hezbollah to pull back from fighting in Syria.

Read More Comments Off

China Set To Grab UAV Market While US Restricts Sales

Psst. Hey mister. Wanna buy a UAV? China’s got drones for shooting, drones for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and drones for target practice. Cheap prices and no arms export restrictions.“Surging domestic and international market demand for UAVs, from both military and civilian customers, will continue to buoy growth of the Chinese industry. Chinese defense firms do not face the same export restrictions as top UAV-exporting countries, such as the United States and Israel. As a result, China could become a key UAV proliferator, particularly to developing countries.”

Read More Comments Off

U.S. puts jets in Jordan, fuels Russian fear of Syria no-fly zone

The United States said on Saturday it would keep F-16 fighters and Patriot missiles in Jordan at Amman’s request, and Russia bristled at the possibility they could be used to enforce a no-fly zone inside Syria.

Washington, which has long called for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, pledged military support to Syrian rebels this week, citing what it said was the Syrian military’s use of chemical weapons – an allegation Damascus has denied.

Read More Comments Off

The Nicaragua Canal: China’s Secret Motive

You absolutely cannot underestimate the importance of the Panama Canal to the modern global economy. The existence of the canal has done more to promote free trade and globalization than all of the international summits in history. It has massively reduced costs and transit times and allowed for much tighter economic integration between the countries of the Americas and between the Americas and the Old World. Maybe China is betting that world trade will be high enough to justify two Central American canals by the year 2025, but I believe its motivation is less economic and more geopolitical.

Read More Comments Off

Why Tunisia Could Host the U.S. Military’s African Command(AFRICOM)

The post-revolutionary Tunisian government may soon find itself inclined to host a major piece of the United States’ international military architecture. The debate over whether Tunisia should accomodate the United States Africa Command, also known as AFRICOM, started when the U.S. declared its intentions to create the command in 2006. At the time, the discussion mainly centered on the possible consequences such a decision could have on Tunisian internal affairs, as well as on the country’s foreign policy.

Read More Comments Off

Inside the ‘Q Group,’ the Directorate Hunting Down Edward Snowden

The security and counterintelligence directorate serves as the NSA’s internal police force, in effect watching the agency’s watchers for behavior that could pose an intelligence risk. It has the authority to interview an NSA contractor or employee’s known associates, and even to activate a digital dragnet capable of finding out where a target travels, what the target has purchased and the target’s online activity. The directorate serves as the NSA’s internal police force, in effect watching the agency’s watchers.

Read More Comments Off

Japanese Troops Invading Southern California – Just for Training

As part of an effort to improve Japan’s amphibious attack abilities, Japanese troops will converge on California’s southern coast in the next two weeks as part of a military exercise with U.S. troops.

U.S. and Japanese military officials said the unprecedented training, led by U.S. Marines and sailors, will help Japan’s Self-Defense Force operate in stronger coordination with the United States, its main ally, and better respond to crises such as natural disasters. China may see it differently, however, given the tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over a long-running dispute concerning islands claimed by both in the East China Sea, according to The Associated Press.

Read More Comments Off

Pakistan fears US will again abandon it after Afghanistan pullout

Pakistan has a growing fear that the US might abandon it once again after its exit from Afghanistan next year. The Pakistan embassy has conveyed the message to the Obama administration in numerous meetings, according to the acting ambassador Dr Asad Majeed.

Talking to The News after attending an event on the Capitol Hill, he said Pakistani officials have been expressing concern, both publicly and in official meetings with American officials, that Pakistan could be left to deal with the fallout of the US withdrawal in the form of militancy and extremism in Afghanistan.

Read More Comments Off

NSA taps in to Internet giants’ systems to mine user data, secret files reveal

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

Read More Comments Off

7 Things to Know About the Government’s Secret Database of Cellular Data

A top secret federal court order reveals that the FBI and the National Security Agency are collecting the cell phone data of millions of Americans. Thedocument, obtained by The Guardian, compels Verizon Wireless to send the NSA information about all telephone calls made on the telecom’s network within the United States. Here are six quick things to know about the secret directive and its implications: Though the court order obtained by The Guardian only applies to Verizon, the Bush-era NSA database involved multiple carriers.

Read More Comments Off

Bouteflika: The Magician and The Smokescreen

The President of the Popular Algerian Republic left the country on 27 April 2013 to behospitalized in Paris at Val-de-Grâce, following a non-fatal stroke. Since then, Bouteflika’s absence has provoked an increasing anxiety. The French press has reported on the worsening of his health, which was subsequently printed in various Algerian newspapers. Despite Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal’s denial of these reports, the uncertainties regarding his succession (which appears increasingly imminent) are growing. Most significantly, the general fear of destabilization in the country heighten these worries.

Read More Comments Off

First on CNN: U.S. to send Patriot missile battery, fighter jets to Jordan as part of exercise

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved the deployment of a Patriot missile battery and F-16 fighter jet aircraft to Jordan as part of a planned military exercise, but with an understanding that the weapons systems may stay in the country to bolster Jordan’s security as violence from the Syrian civil war spreads.

The deployment, approved by Hagel over the weekend, will send the weapons to Jordan for a multinational training exercise called Eager Lion, which is taking place this month.

Read More Comments Off

New Asia, Old Europe

As the United States pivots away from the Western world to face the burgeoning Pacific Rim, what wisdom can it carry over from its former stomping grounds to the new cockpit of geopolitics? Perhaps Washington can take a page out of Leopold Kohr’s book. The obscure Austrian philosopher once popularized the slogan “Small is Beautiful” — which has clearly never caught on in the States. Yet his theories on the importance of size in international relations might help Washington manage its decidedly outsized geopolitical challenges in Asia.

Read More Comments Off

Chinese think-tank warns of military clashes with Japan

A Chinese think-tank has warned that China may get involved in a military conflict with Japan over the disputed Diaoyu Islands, as “big powers” have intensified their efforts for geopolitical and military dominance in the strategic Asia-Pacific region.

An annual report released Tuesday by the Centre for National Defence Policy (CNDP), a part of the Academy of Military Sciences of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has stated that big powers have intensified their efforts for regional dominance and United States has accelerated its eastward shift of its strategic focus.

Read More Comments Off

New U.S. global strike weaponry have China worried

When the United States carried out a successful test recently of an advanced high-speed, long-range weapon ostensibly designed to reduce U.S. reliance on nuclear arms in a crisis, it set alarm bells ringing in China. DARPA Has been testing various super-fast unmanned aircraft over the past few years as part of a futuristic program called Prompt Global Strike (PGS). DARPA has been testing an experimental arrowhead-shaped plane, the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2).

Read More Comments Off

US Army Creates NATO Rapid-Deployment Forces

The U.S. Army has shifted its focus to the Pacific, but the service now has a plan to support its NATO allies with rapid-deployment forces based in the United States if necessary, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Wednesday.

The Army’s footprint in Europe continues to reduce dramatically from the Cold War force that numbered more than 200,000 soldiers. As the Pentagon pivots to the Pacific theater, while maintaining a presence in the Middle East, Army leaders maintain that a new strategy is in the works for managing European ground forces as well.

Read More Comments Off

World’s major central banks act with new boldness as economies falter

When James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, arrived in Frankfurt last week, he issued an unusual public warning to the European Central Bank: Be bolder.

Central bankers, anywhere in the world, are a cautious lot. They prefer slow and steady over the dramatic gesture. And they rarely go public with criticisms of other central banks. But the economic stagnation of the major developed nations has driven central banks in the United States, Japan, Britain and the European Union to take increasingly aggressive action.

Read More Comments Off

Strike when necessary in South China Sea: Chinese scholar

China should hit out when necessary to resolve rows over some shoals in the South China Sea that are unlawfully occupied by other countries, a Chinese scholar has urged.

“Diplomacy only leverages when backed by military might,” he said, questioning why China cannot make military moves now that the Renai Shoal and Scarborough Shoal are the sovereign territory of China? Since China’s marine power now is strong enough to protect national interests and rights, China should exercise its diplomatic and military clouts interactively to achieve its aim, he contended.

Read More Comments Off

Venezuela to create new workers militia

Venezuela’s president has ordered the creation of a new workers’ militia to defend the country’s “Bolivarian revolution” at a time when the government faces economic problems and political turmoil.

President Nicolas Maduro gave few details about the militia, including how many members it would consist of, but said it would be part of the Bolivarian Militia created by late President Hugo Chavez, which consists of roughly 120,000 volunteers. Analysts have said only about one-fourth of that force is combat ready.

Read More Comments Off

ThinThread: US spy device ‘tested on NZ public’

A high-tech United States surveillance tool which sweeps up all communications without a warrant was sent to New Zealand for testing on the public, according to an espionage expert.

The tool was called ThinThread and it worked by automatically intercepting phone, email and internet information. ThinThread was highly valued by those who created it because it could handle massive amounts of intercepted information. It then used snippets of data to automatically build a detailed picture of targets, their contacts and their habits for the spy organisation using it.

Read More Comments Off

How America became a third world country

The streets are so much darker now, since money for streetlights is rarely available to municipal governments. The national parks began closing down years ago. Some are already being subdivided and sold to the highest bidder. Reports on bridges crumbling or even collapsing are commonplace. The air in city after city hangs brown and heavy (and rates of childhood asthma and other lung diseases have shot up), because funding that would allow the enforcement of clean air standards by the Environmental Protection Agency is a distant memory. Public education has been cut to the bone, making good schools a luxury and, according to the Department of Education, two of every five students won’t graduate from high school.

Read More Comments Off

US Boosts Military Presence in Balkans

The Serbs living in the north of Kosovo flatly refuse to abide by the agreement reached in Brussels, which makes them deprived of the Serbia’s citizenship in favor of becoming Kosovars, or the citizens of Kosovo. Soon they will face a military force called in to guarantee the fulfillment of Brussels accords. The formations of 525th US Army Battlefield Surveillance Brigade come to take part in the three-week-long exercises in Hohenfels, Germany. The future mission includes combat planning, preventing and putting down public unrest, evacuation of wounded and interaction with civil officials.

Read More Comments Off

Fed Reserve suggests quant easing for EU zone

A top U.S. Federal Reserve official urged the European Central Bank on Tuesday to consider employing a U.S.-style quantitative easing programme to counter slowing inflation and recession in the euro zone.

The ECB has engaged in bond purchases in the past but has always withdrawn an equivalent amount of money from markets to ensure its interventions are neutral for the money supply, fearful of stoking inflationary pressures. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard recommended the ECB could consider quantitative easing (QE), or printing money for asset purchases.

Read More Comments Off

Oman to buy $2.1B Raytheon missile system(THAAD) to counter Iran

Gulf sultanate of Oman is set to buy a $2.1 billion missile system built by the U.S. Raytheon Co. as part of a U.S. drive to install a coordinated air-defense system linking the region’s Arab monarchies to counter Iran.

Details of the contract, including the type of system involved, have not been disclosed, but Oman has been in the market for a medium-range surface-to-air missile system for some time.U.S. officials traveling with Kerry say the deal will enhance the air-defense systems the United States has sold to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other allies in the gulf.

Read More Comments Off

Imperial Overreach: America by Proxy?

The demise of the Roman Empire resulted from a combination of strategic overreach and excessive delegation of security responsibilities to newcomers. Without making undue comparisons, the question for the United States today is whether it can remain the world’s leading power while delegating to others or to technological tools the task of protecting its global influence. Drones and allies – non-human weapons and non-American soldiers – have become central to America’s military doctrine.

Read More Comments Off

S. Korea deploys Israeli missiles to protect border islands

South Korea has placed Israeli precision-guided missiles capable of striking North Korean coastal artillery on its Yellow Sea border islands, a military official said Sunday.

“Dozens of Spike missiles and their launchers have recently been deployed on Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands,” an official for the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. “They can destroy (North Korea’s) underground facilities and can pursue and strike moving targets.”

Read More Comments Off

Strategic Goals: Russian plans for the BRICS to dismantle the dollar system

Objectives are clear. In the section entitled “Strategic Goals”, the first item on the agenda of the BRICS should reform the global financial system, so as to make it “fairer, more stable, and more efficient.” In subsequent chapters, clearly states that this “reform” is actually dismantling the dollar system.

It is worth noting that the space allotted to this task in the list of priorities of the BRICS, clearly indicates its importance. According to the order of priority, the deprivation of the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is more important than the “prevention of violation of sovereignty” (ie “the Syrian problem”) or “enhanced economic cooperation.”

Read More Comments Off

Putin’s power play: Russia builds up missile systems, seeks to limit U.S. defenses

Russia is engaged in a major buildup of both nuclear and conventional missile defense systems at the same time Moscow is seeking legal limits on U.S. missile defenses, according to U.S. officials.

The Russian military is developing and deploying an array of new and modernized anti-missile interceptors that are part of a strategic doctrine that calls for defending against what Moscow believes to be an increasing threat posed by offensive ballistic missiles, said U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports.

Read More Comments Off

Boston Pretext: Pentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself Authority Over ‘Civil Disturbances’

A new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

“Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”

Read More Comments Off

Arctic rising as economic, security hot spot

The icy Arctic is emerging as a global economic hot spot — and one that is becoming a security concern for the United States as world powers jockey to tap its vast energy resources and stake out unclaimed territories.

Diplomats from eight Arctic nations, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, will meet this week over how to protect the thawing region as its waterways increasingly open to commercial shipping traffic. U.S. officials estimate the Arctic holds 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves and 30 percent of undiscovered gas deposits.

Read More Comments Off

Iran to train Sudanese naval force

The Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari voiced Iran’s enthusiasm for stronger naval cooperation with Sudan and announced that his forces are prepared to train Sudanese naval forces.

Sudanese naval officials wave as the Iranian Navy helicopter-carrier Kharg docks at Port Sudan in October 2012 (photo Press TV)
The Iranian military official made these statements on Thursday after a meeting with the commander of Sudanese Navy, General Dalil al-Daw Mohamed Fadal-Allah who is on a visit to Teheran.

Read More Comments Off

U.S. Fears Russia May Sell Air-Defense System to Syria

The United States, which is trying to bring Syrian rebels and the Syrian government to the negotiating table, is now increasingly worried that Russia plans to sell a sophisticated air defense system to Syria, American officials said Wednesday.

Russia has a long history of selling arms to the Syrians and has a naval base in the country. But the delivery of the Russian S-300 missile batteries would represent a major qualitative advancement in Syria’s air defenses. The system is regarded as highly effective and would limit the ability of the United States and other nations to operate over Syrian airspace or impose a no-fly zone.

Read More Comments Off

Oil Routes & Choke Points: How oil travels around the world, in one map

The map comes from this recent reporting project on U.S. energy security by nine student journalists at the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative. The reporters explored all aspects of energy security, from presidential rhetoric on the subject to the oil markets themselves to a breakdown of U.S. military operations to stabilize the oil supply. And the site has plenty of charts and graphs. To accompany the map above, Dana Ballout has a piece looking in more detail at all the potential oil choke points.

Read More Comments Off

When governments rob banks

Consider the significance of the Federal Reserve announcement last week of its plan to maintain a policy of cheap debt — continuing its “stimulus” plans that camouflage a stagnant economy by purchasing $85 billion a month of a variety of forms of debt. Troubling elements of such a policy include the fact that American taxpayers own a larger and larger share of all mortgage-backed securities thanks to the government takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Remember, these government service organizations were declared insolvent as recently as 2008 during the subprime housing crisis.

Read More Comments Off

Why liberal hawks are pushing to strike Syria

In 2011, Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times, offered a mea culpa for his support of the war in Iraq. “When the troops went in, they went with my blessing,” confessed Keller. “I could not foresee that we would mishandle the war so badly, but I could see that there was no clear plan for — and at the highest levels, a shameful smugness about — what came after the invasion.” He called his realization “the costly wisdom of Iraq,” which, according to his op-ed in the Times on Monday, doesn’t seem to apply to Syria.

Read More Comments Off

In America’s Backyard: China’s Rising Influence In Latin America

Over the past five years, Chinese businesses have been expanding their footprint in Latin America in a number of ways, beginning with enhanced trade to ensure a steady supply of bulk commodities such as oil, copper and soybeans. At this year’s Boao Forum for Asia, for the first time a Latin American sub-forum was created that included the participation of several heads of state from the region.

Read More Comments Off

French forces withdraw from Tajikistan while Russian troops get comfortable

As the United States is drawing up plans to reduce and revamp its military presence in Central Asia and while Russia answers increasingly desperate calls for help in the region on military matters, France announced that it is beginning to dismantle its 11 year old military air presence in Tajikistan.

The force of about 230 service members, which is assigned to operational transportation is now in the process of leaving the country, but a small force of specialists will remain in Dushanbe until some time next year when they finish upgrading the runway at the Dushanbe Airport.

Read More Comments Off

Interesting: 3AF 9th Annual International Conference on Missile Defense

Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today. At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense policy issues, including missile defense policy. In this capacity, it was my responsibility and privilege to negotiate the details of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) agreements with Poland, Romania, and Turkey that will enable the United States to implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach (or EPAA), the U.S. contribution to NATO missile defense.

Read More Comments Off

Taiwan deploying three batteries of Patriot Missile Systems in the South

Three U.S.-made Patriot antimissile air defense batteries will be deployed in southern Taiwan, in addition to the one already in northern Taiwan, said the Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Yang. Responding to lawmakers’ questions in the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, Yang said the three Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile batteries will be used to boost the country’s defense capability. The PAC-3 missile batteries, part of a US$6.4 billion arms package supplied by the United States in recent years, will be deployed in southern Taiwan, he said.

Read More Comments Off

China’s ruthless foreign policy is changing the world in dangerous ways

Analyzing Beijing’s foreign policy is a relatively simple exercise. That’s because, unlike the United States and other Western nations, China doesn’t even pretend to operate on any other principle except naked self-interest. On one hand, China has courted Israel as a partner in developing Mediterranean gas fields — but it also has been happy to do business with Israel’s arch-enemy, Iran, and has sold weapons that ended up in Hezbollah’s arsenal. In South Asia, meanwhile, China has cynically helped Pakistan check India’s regional role, even as China’s state-controlled press has warned Pakistan that Beijing may “intervene militarily” in South Asia if Pakistani-origin jihadis continue to infiltrate Muslim areas of Western China.

Read More Comments Off

Is China pivoting to the Middle East?

It is not a secret that in recent years, Beijing increased its political activities across several hot spots in the region. China is now one of the largest GCC countries trade partner, the largest exporter to the Middle East, the biggest importer of Iranian oil, and the largest player in the Iraqi oil game. Meanwhile, the GCC countries are eager to diversify their economy and foreign policy; subsequently they welcome the Chinese involvement and investments, but also view such presence as vital toward the creation of balance in international relations and energy markets. From the Arab perspective, there is little concern that China’s increasing status as a world power will constitute a security threat.

Read More Comments Off

Himalayan tensions serve US’ rebalancing strategy

The current tensions on the disputed India-China border – known delightfully for its vagueness as the ‘Line of Actual Control’ – in the western sector of the Ladakh region bordering China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region hark back to the scenario five decades ago when little skirmishes snowballed into a major outbreak of hostility. Fortunately, however, this time around there is a fundamental difference, too, which obviates the danger of a catastrophic slide to armed conflict. On a systemic plane, there are disquieting signs that the Indian establishment has not been pulling together on the country’s China policy and this disconnect, which has been suspected through the recent past, threatens to introduce its own disharmony.

Read More Comments Off

INSIGHT: Creating a ‘No Move’ Zone in Syria

This may be a template for a possible plot for “The Expendables 3” but it is a truly bad real-world military operation. Creating limited protection zones for what are now millions of potential refugees would commit the United States to unstable half-measures – and the open-ended use of force to defend them – with the risks of either a continuing civil war or an unplanned process of escalation without allied commitments or support and the reality that the people in such zones would need massive amounts of emergency relief. As Libya showed, “no fly” zones are not enough to end a civil war or halt ground movements and escalation in the use of artillery, missiles, and carefully managed atrocities by competing ground forces.

Read More Comments Off

US seeks military presence in Maldives

The intriguing ‘leak’ of a draft Status of Forces Agreement [SOFA] between the United States and the Maldivian government has led to reluctant confirmation by both countries that they are indeed involved in discussion with each other to conclude such an agreement.

The draft agreement “incorporates the principal provisions and necessary authorisations for the temporary presence and activities of United States forces in the Republic of Maldives and, in the specific situations indicated herein, the presence and activities of United States contractors in the Republic of Maldives.”

Read More Comments Off