Defence

Are we sleepwalking to World War III?

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Analysis Australia is plunging headlong into catastrophe and we are utterly unprepared. Stan Grant  ABC In fact, we may be past the time when we can prepare. The time-bomb is ticking and it will explode in our lifetimes. All certainty will be lost, our economy will be devastated, our land seized, our system of government upended. This isn’t mere idle speculation or the rantings of a doomsday cult, this is the warning from a man who has made it his… ... Read More »

Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb

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We are witnessing a striking shift in the global paradigm of how the world views nuclear weapons. Alice Slater The Nation On July 7, 2017, at a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned, 122 nations completed the job after three weeks, accompanied by a… The new treaty outlaws any prohibited activities related to… Democracy Breaks Out… Read More »

US lawmaker wants to block F-35 sales to Turkey over embassy brawl

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WASHINGTON — A Democratic lawmaker from Rhode Island is seeking to block the U.S. sale of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets to Turkey over an attack on protesters outside the… Joe Gould and Valerie Insinna Defense News Rep. David Cicilline, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has proposed the ban as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the House Armed… The House is expected to take up the bill and deal with amendments ... Read More »

North Korean missile launch pits China and Russia against the US

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Analysis There’s a saying in politics: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” North Korea’s missile test is indeed a crisis — and a test of Donald Trump’s still-young presidency. Ben Knight  ABC But he is being outmanoeuvred by Russia and China, who have teamed up against the United States to achieve a mutual goal: weakening the US military presence on their doorstep. Both Russia and China have a land border with North Korea. For China especially, North Korea ... Read More »

We’re all sleepwalking towards conflict

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This is not just another North Korean missile launch. The “successful” testing of a supposed inter-continental ballistic missile takes the Korean Peninsula one step closer to a… John Hemmings Telegraph, London The Canberra Times This time is different because it threatens a reaction from the US. The US closely monitors North Korea’s ability to strike cities on the west coast, and significant progress towards that goal is… Worryingly, the test also has the potential to bring Beijing and… We’re all ... Read More »

North Korea’s missile program is no longer a distant threat

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North Korea is claiming it now has the capability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon, after testing another advanced missile on Tuesday. Harry J Kazianis Asia Times While such an assertion is hard to confirm so early after the test, one thing is clear: Pyongyang’s missile program is entering a critical phase and is no longer a distant threat. Initially, President Donald Trump gambled that personal diplomacy –buddying up to Chinese President Xi Jinping — would yield… ... Read More »

USS Stethem Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation Past Triton Island in South China Sea

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A U.S. destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese holding in the South China Sea, a U.S. defense official told USNI News on Sunday… Sam LaGrone USNI News USS Stethem (DDG-63) passed by Triton Island in the Paracel Island chain on Sunday to test claims by not only Bejing but also Vietnam and Taiwan, the official confirmed to USNI… Since the Trump administration has begun testing excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials have repeatedly ... Read More »

Feature: South Africa’s defence priorities

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Another year, another defence budget, and once again the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is left short-changed and under-funded, as it has been for almost a quarter of a… Helmoed Romer Heitman defence web That mismatch between funding and commitments has delayed replacement of old equipment (30+ year old infantry combat vehicles and trucks) and closing critical capability gaps (lack of… It has also undermined training and demoralised military personnel to the… Feature: South Africa… Read More »

The collapse of Turkish army’s health and education system

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In late May, more than 1,000 soldiers from a land forces brigade in the western Turkish province of Manisa were hospitalized for food poisoning, and one of them lost his life. Author: Zülfikar Doğan Translator: Sibel Utku Bila AlMonitor The problem at the barracks, where 6,000 new conscripts are receiving training, was described as intestinal infection, but the detailed medical analyses of samples from affected soldiers have not… On June 17, a new bout of mass food poisonings occurred in… ... Read More »

Will China provide sanctuary to North Korean submarines?

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North Korea has one of the world’s largest fleets of submarines Peter J. Brown Asia Times As Washington, Seoul and Tokyo fret about North Korea’s repeated firing of ballistic missiles into the skies of Northeast Asia, another part of Pyongyang’s arsenal has gone largely unnoticed because it’s under the… Of course, submarines aren’t supposed to be noticed, which is what can make them such an effective stealth… Will China provide… Read More »

Japan missile defence drill aims to ease concern over North Korean threat

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A PAC-3 Patriot battery drove on to the Asaka Self Defence Forces base near Tokyo, deployed its radar antenna and raised its missile launcher to firing… Reuters Asia Times Japan opened a missile defence drill to the public on Wednesday, a move it says will reassure the country it is ready to counter any missile attack by neighboring North… A PAC-3 Patriot battery drove on to the Asaka Self Defence Forces base near Tokyo, deployed its radar antenna and raised ... Read More »

Will America Wage War with a Nuclear-Armed North Korea?

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America is facing a countdown that ends with a verified North Korean ability to strike the continental United States with a nuclear weapon. Robert E Kelly The National Interest It is increasingly clear that North Korea is driving toward a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which could strike the U.S. homeland. A central question for war and peace in East Asia, then, is how the Americans will respond if or when North Korea achieves this… Will America Wage… Read More »

What Shanghai Cooperation Expansion Means

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NATO isn’t the only alliance we need to worry about. Michael Rubin Commentary When it comes to diplomacy and defense, much of the focus on Donald Trump both during the campaign and his first months in office has focused on his approach to NATO, his alleged lack of commitment to that defensive alliance, and what his focus on the… On the diplomatic and political side, there are similar dynamics at play, with regard to the… What Shanghai Cooperation… Read More »

New Cold War in the Indian Ocean

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Great power competition between the US, India, Japan and Australia on one side, and China on the other, is raising the strategic stakes in the maritime area Bertil Lintner  Asia Times A new Cold War is brewing in the Indian Ocean, with an informal alliance of the United States, India, Australia, Japan on one side and China on the other. While tensions in the… New Cold War… Read More »

America’s Political Gamble in Syria May Not Pay Off

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President Trump’s plan to defeat the Islamic State relies on the complex web of relations between the United States, Turkey and the… Matthew RJ Brodsky The National Interest As the Islamic State’s territory continues to shrink in the Middle East, its henchmen and those inspired by the extremist group are increasingly lashing out at soft targets in the… The types of attacks recently experienced in London and Manchester are likely to continue until the… America’s Political Gamble… Read More »

What Is the Future of NATO?

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Philip M. Breedlove discusses the challenges facing America and its allies. Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest What is the future of NATO? How significant is the debate over Article V? What policy should Washington adopt towards Ukraine? Will the German Bundeswehr play an increasingly important role in coming years? Does the American nuclear force need to be modernized or is the… What Is the… Read More »