Defence

Japan joins US in imposing new sanctions on North Korea

Foreign minister says assets of five groups, including two from China, to be frozen, as well as nine individuals. Source: Reuters news agency Al Jazeera Japan will impose additional sanctions on North Korea for its weapons programmes, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday, just hours after the US Senate also voted for new sanctions on the secretive state. US media reported this week that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon spy agency, had assessed that North Korea would ... Read More »

A Himalayan spat between China and India evokes memories of war

FOR nearly six weeks, armed contingents of two of the biggest military forces in the world have faced off in a high-altitude game of chicken in the Himalayas. The Economist Roughly 300-400 Indian soldiers and an equal number of Chinese border guards are stuck glowering at one another over a scrubby patch of land at a “tri-junction”, where the two countries and the tiny kingdom of Bhutan all meet. Analysts cannot see how either side might easily stand down. Memories ... Read More »

When in doubt, nuke China

A situation in which the US military feels ‘unhampered’ has precedent – and, as General MacArthur’s endeavors in Korea prove, it’s something to be afraid of Pepe Escobar Asia Times The current collapse of the unipolar world, with the inexorable emergence of a multipolar framework, has enabled a terrifying subplot to run amok – the normalization of the idea of nuclear war. The latest exhibit comes in the form of aΒ US admiral assuring everyone he’s ready to follow President Trump’s ... Read More »

Putin signs Syria base deal, cementing Russia’s presence there for half a century

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying a deal with the Syrian government allowing Russia to keep its air base in Syria for almost half a century, official documents show. Moscow – Reuters Hurriyet The original deal, signed in Damascus in January, sets out the terms under which Russia can use its Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province which it has used to carry out air strikes against forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad. Putin approved the agreement on July ... Read More »

China to ‘step up’ troop deployment in India border row

China warned on July 24 that it will step up its troop deployment in a border dispute with India, vowing to defend its sovereignty at “whatever cost.” BEIJING – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The standoff started more than a month ago after Chinese troops started building a road on a remote plateau, which is disputed by China and Bhutan. Indian troops moved in to the flashpoint zone to halt the work, with China accusing them of violating its territorial sovereignty and ... Read More »

French military chief resigns after row with Macron

France’s top military chief resigned on July 19 after a war of words with Emmanuel Macron over budget cuts that tested the new president’s… Hurriyet The row between Macron and General Pierre de Villiers erupted last week when the chief of staff told a parliamentary committee he would not allow the armed forces to be “screwed” by the government’s plans to slash 850… Macron, 39, slapped down the 60-year-old five-star general in front of army chiefs at their annual summer ... Read More »

Are we sleepwalking to World War III?

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

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

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

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

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 »

Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread. Arms Control Association The United States conducted its first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Just four years later, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), ... Read More »

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

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

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

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

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 »