Defence

‘Leave immediately’: US Navy plane warned over South China Sea

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Above the South China Sea (CNN) – High above one of the most hotly contested regions in the world, CNN was given a rare look Friday at the Chinese government’s rapidly expanding militarization of the South China Sea. By Brad Lendon, Ivan Watson and Ben Westcott, CNN Aboard a US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane, CNN got a view from 16,500 feet of low-lying coral reefs turned into garrisons with five-story buildings, large radar installations, power plants and runways sturdy enough ... Read More »

Embattled Nord Stream 2 seeks to skirt Danish veto

FILE - In this May 8, 2017 photo steel pipes for the North Stream 2 pipeline are stacked in Mukran harbour in Sassnitz, Germany. American officials say a pipeline project between Russia and Germany risks triggering U.S. sanctions because of security concerns. Senior State Department diplomat Sandra Oudkirk says the United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because it could increase Russia's "malign influence" in Europe. (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP, file)

Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline consortium on Friday said it had applied for an alternative route to skirt a new Danish law that threatened to block the project. AFP New legislation which took effect in January allows the Danish government to veto pipelines passing through the Nordic nation’s territorial waters based on its foreign policy, security and defence interests. Led by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, the consortium said in a statement that the law gives the Danish foreign ministry ... Read More »

Further Balkanizing the Balkans is a recipe for disaster

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When it comes to the future of the Balkans, the discourse is slowing leaning toward proposing new divisions in the region — which is a recipe for geopolitical instability. Carl Bildt The Washington Post Discreetly, Serb and Albanian political leaders have been exploring the possibility of sorting out their differences using territorial swaps. The idea of sorting out divisions through exchanging territories has been circulating in Belgrade for years, but lately, it seems to have acquired traction in leading Albanian circles, as ... Read More »

How Russia Plans to Get Turkey on Its Side

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Moscow’s efforts appear to be paying off, as a 2017 poll showed that over 70 percent of Turkish citizens were favorable toward a political, economic and security alliance with Russia. Aykan Erdemir, John Lechner The National Interest June has been a tough month for the board of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the joint Turco-Russian megaproject and Turkey’s first nuclear reactor. On June 19, Russian authorities arrested on charges of espionage Karina Tsurkan, an energy executive at Moscow-based Inter RAO ... Read More »

Yemen: US allies strike deals with al-Qaida in war on rebels

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ATAQ, Yemen (AP) — A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns the militants had seized across Yemen and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated… MAGGIE MICHAEL, TRISH WILSON and LEE KEATH AP Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself. Again and again over the past two years, ... Read More »

This Is the ‘F-52’ Fighter

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The aircraft that appears in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is clearly based on early 1990s-era Lockheed Martin concepts for the Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter and the later A/F-X—both of which were based on the…. Dave Majumdar The National Interest The Navy was not fond of the naval derivative of the YF-23, which had a canard configuration the service found less than appealing. In fact, because the Navy’s reaction was so favorable, Lockheed later pitched a modified version of its ... Read More »

This Knocks the Legs Out from Under the Atom Bomb Revisionists Who Criticize Truman for Hiroshima

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The best way to get across the situation that Czarist Russia and then the Soviet Union faced in the Far East is to make it clear that the Maritime Provinces and their principal port, Vladivostok, were far, far more vulnerable than even the tenuous US position in the Philippines at the time of Pearl Harbor. D. M. Giangreco History News Network The lifeline upon which so much depended for the Russians was the Trans-Siberian Railroad and the chief of the US Military ... Read More »

What else can ASEAN do to deescalate the South China Sea conflict?

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With limited options to deescalate the conflict, ASEAN turns to diplomacy while building broader economic and military alliance with the USA Kumaran Pillai The Independent The new Chinese hegemony in Asia Pacific poses both opportunities and risks for member states of ASEAN. China’s Belt and Road initiative promises new economic frontiers and some South East Asian countries are only too willing to concede to the territorial ambitions of China in the South China Seas to pursue economic growth. This week, ... Read More »

America’s Turkey Problem Finally Comes to a Head

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This week brought signs that the deeply flawed status quo of U.S.-Turkish relations has begun to crack. Matthew RJ Brodsky National Review For successive administrations, inertia may have kept the flawed status quo of U.S.–Turkey relations in place, but the train appears finally to be running out of track. It was bound to happen eventually, regardless of the Trump administration’s just-announced decision to impose sanctions on two Turkish cabinet officials in response to Turkey’s continued detention of an… And now ... Read More »

NATO is a Goldmine for the US/Military Industrial Complex

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley CounterPunch It’s got nothing to do with any defense rationale, because the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the… Even Radio Free Europe, the US government’s official broadcaster, acknowledged that “Russia, one of the world’s top military spenders, ... Read More »

Israel Prefers Old F-15s to F-35s

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The Israeli Air Force needs long-range aircraft that can carry a lot of fuel and weapons, because of Iran. Kyle Mizokami Popular Mechanics The Israeli Air Force would rather buy more F-15 Eagle fighters than the latest and greatest F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It may be an older plane, but the F-15 apparently offers Israel more flexibility, particularly when striking its… According to Aviation Week & Space Technology, Israel is dividing its airpower into two categories: jets that can strike ... Read More »

What Turkey’s Political Changes Mean for U.S.-Turkish Relations

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The July 9 swearing-in of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his second term as Turkey’s president—and his subsequent decree1 thoroughly restructuring the Turkish government—have inaugurated a new phase in the… By Max Hoffman, Alan Makovsky, and Michael Werz Center for American Progress Erdoğan will preside over a new system in which power is even more centralized in the office of the presidency than it was previously. Of course, this structure represents the institutionalization of what had been a de facto reality: ... Read More »

NATO: the Unexamined Alliance

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The outcome of the July11-12 NATO meeting in Brussels got lost amid the media’s obsession with President Donald Trump’s bombast, but the “Summit Declaration” makes for sober reading. Conn Hallinan CounterPunch The media reported that the 28-page document “upgraded military readiness,” and was “harshly critical of Russia,” but there was not much detail beyond that. But details matter, because that is where the Devil hides. One such detail is NATO’s “Readiness Initiative” that will beef up naval, air and ground forces in “the eastern ... Read More »

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

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As if there was any remaining doubt, the past few weeks have shown that US President Donald Trump is fully committed to demolishing the American-led post-war order and free-trade system. Joschka Fischer * The Project Syndicate Europeans no longer have any time to waste: The EU must assert itself as a unitary, self-sufficient global power before it is too late. BERLIN – After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir ... Read More »

Japan’s New Super-Sized Destroyer Will Help Defend Against Ballistic Missiles And More

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The pair of ships could shoot down North Korea missiles, as well as challenge Chinese claims and aid Japan in projecting power beyond its shores. Joseph Trevithick The Drive Japan Marine United, or JMU, has launched the first example of a new subclass of guided missile destroyers for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, which will significantly boost the country’s ballistic missile defense capabilities, particularly with regards to North Korea. At the same time, though, the ship will enhance Japan’s ability ... Read More »

NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley Strategic Culture Foundation It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 ... Read More »