Defence

Is America’s Alliance with Turkey Worth It?

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The most basic feature that the United States should expect from an ally is consistent, reliable behavior that benefits U.S. policy objectives. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest  Ideally, since America regards itself as a champion of democracy and freedom, an ally should embody those values as well, but Washington has never been a stickler for that standard. Indeed, the United States has a sordid history of collaboration with undemocratic, even odious, regimes when U.S. leaders believed that the relationship ... Read More »

The F-35: How Taiwan Could Really Push Back Against China

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For the first time, an American National Security Strategy (NSS) explicitly mentions Taiwan. Michael Mazza Gary Schmitt The National Interest The NSS includes a commitment to “maintain our strong ties with Taiwan in accordance with our ‘One China’ policy, including our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide for Taiwan’s legitimate defense needs and deter coercion.” The NSS language on Taiwan parallels Congress’s increased interest in strengthening ties with Taipei. Last summer, Senators Tom Cotton and Corey Gardner introduced ... Read More »

Russia, Iran open their arms as Turkey loses patience with U.S.

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LONDON — Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have hit a new low over Washington’s support of militias battling the Islamic State, according to analysts. F. Brinley Bruton NBC News The government in Ankara views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists. Experts warn that the crisis is resulting in Turkey — a longtime American ally with NATO’s second-largest standing army — turning away from the West and toward Russia and Iran. U.S. military support for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are ... Read More »

Rex Tillerson signals an open-ended US military presence in Syria

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled for an open-ended US military presence in Syria as part of a broader strategy. Tillerson also called for “patience” on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s removal. David Brunnstrom, Reuters  Business Insider The United States on Wednesday signaled an open-ended military presence in Syria as part of a broader strategy to prevent Islamic State’s resurgence, pave the way diplomatically for the eventual departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and curtail Iran’s influence. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a speech at Stanford ... Read More »

Turkey, Russia blast U.S.-backed Syria force as “terrorist army”

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BEIRUT – Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria’s international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq. CBS News AP The coalition told The Associated Press Monday that 230 new cadets have already been recruited to the force, which is anticipated to reach 30,000 troops in the next several years. According to the coalition, the core of ... Read More »

From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations

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One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest Strolling the cavernous and well-appointed halls of Russia’s carefully renovated Central Naval Museum [Центральный Военно-морской Музей] near the Neva River in St. Petersburg, one can find an assortment of interesting artifacts, not least the small skiff in which Peter the Great learned to sail more than three centuries ago now. Among the many captured battle standards from Sweden, Turkey ... Read More »

Feature: Israel’s tiny navy plays key role in national defense

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JERUSALEM, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) – The Israeli navy plays a major role in the country’s defense, although it has enjoyed less of the limelight that other units in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have. Keren Setton Editor: Jiaxin The navy is the smallest unit of the IDF, with tens of marine vessels at service. But it is responsible for protecting Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and is also tasked with safeguarding newly found natural gas reserves and curbing potential threats ... Read More »

Be afraid, be very afraid: North Korea’s long-term strategy

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The TV camera focuses on Kim Jong-un. “Fellow countrymen, I am determined to make sure that you have not endured your many sacrifices in vain,” he says. Bradley Martin Asia Times “We have forced the world to notice us and respect us, and now we need to translate that achievement into food, clothing and shelter for our long-suffering population. “Today, I am ordering military storehouses opened. We will distribute a million tons of war-reserve rice to our citizens, who need ... Read More »

The US ‘Betrayed’ Russia, but It Is Not ‘News That’s Fit to Print’

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New evidence that Washington broke its promise not to expand NATO “one inch eastward”—a fateful decision with ongoing ramifications—has not been reported by The New York Times or other agenda-setting media outlets. Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics (at NYU and Princeton), and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.) Cohen returns to a subject ... Read More »

The World According to H.R. McMaster

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Why is he so worried about North Korea? Why is H.R. McMaster so alarmed by North Korea? Uri Friedman The Atlantic Why does Donald Trump’s national-security adviser insist—more vigorously than any administration official except the president himself—that Kim Jong Un must be denied the capability to place a nuclear warhead on a missile that can reach the United States, even if this requires initiating a military conflict with the North that could devolve into a cataclysmic war? While Secretary of ... Read More »

Israeli air strikes, rockets hit Syria: Syrian army

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The Israeli army overnight carried out air strikes and fired rockets at targets in Syria, causing damage near a military position, the Syrian army said in a statement on Jan. 9. DAMASCUS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Israel’s army has carried out several attacks on the Syrian army and its ally Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011 The Israeli air force carried out strikes on the Qutayfeh area northeast of Damascus, causing the ... Read More »

Statement of the National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon

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The United States together with the UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran should continue to implement rigorously the JCPOA. A TNI Exclusive The National Interest Prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon is a vital U.S. national security objective. The multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), assures that if it continues to comply with it, Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon for at least 13 years, after which time the parties can either implement ... Read More »

Undersea cables the Achilles’ heel in lead-up to new cold war

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Hostile acts against submerged Internet cables would put critical communications, trillions of dollars in transactions and the world economy at risk By Doug Tsuruoka Editor at Large Asia Times It’s a little-known twist in the cyber-warfare between nations that carries potentially devastating consequences At a time when more than 95% of everything that moves on the global Internet passes through just 200 undersea fiber-optic cables, potential adversaries such as the US, Russia, China and Iran are focusing on these deep-sea ... Read More »

UK minister expects closer defense ties with Cyprus military

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Britain’s defense minister says authorities want to ensure that British armed forces “work closer and more supportively” with Cyprus’ military in tackling common challenges. The Associated Press Herald-Whig Britain has two military bases on Cyprus, which was a British colony until 1960. It continues to carry out air strikes against Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Syria from the Mediterranean island nation. Defense Minister Gavin Williamson said after talks with Cypriot counterpart Christoforos Fokaides on ... Read More »

‘Don’t fear death,’ China’s Xi tells army

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President Xi Jinping has issued a blunt call for China’s military to be ready for war and unafraid to die defending the country, as geopolitical tensions mount in Asia. SHANGHAI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Xi’s exhortation to the world’s largest fighting force, parts of which were revealed only late Jan. 4, came during what state media characterized as a rare address by the Chinese leader to the country’s entire military. Xi cemented his status as China’s most powerful leader in ... Read More »

Yemen civil war: Norway suspends arms sales to UAE as part of ‘precautionary line’

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There is “great concern” over the humanitarian crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country, says Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide Jan M. Olsen Independent AP Norway has suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates as a “precautionary line,” based on its assessment of the situation in Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition including the UAE has been fighting Shia rebels in the country for nearly three years. Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said she had “no information” that any of Norway’s military exports have been used in Yemen, but that there’s ... Read More »