Defence

After six tests, the mountain hosting North Korea’s nuclear blasts may be exhausted

Lax 2b

Tokyo: Have North Korea’s nuclear tests become so big that they’ve altered the geological structure of the land? Anna Fifield Washington Post The Sydney Morning Herald Some analysts now see signs that Mount Mantap, the 2200-metre-high peak under which North Korea detonates its nuclear bombs, is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome”. The mountain visibly shifted during the last nuclear test, an enormous detonation that was recorded as a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast. Since then, the area, which is not ... Read More »

A Blueprint for Minimizing Iran’s Influence in the Middle East

Pao 4d

America needs a better strategy for containing and checking Iran, and that strategy is needed now. John Allen Michael O’Hanlon The National Interest President Donald Trump would be making a serious mistake were he to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the 2015 nuclear deal between various world powers and Iran—in coming months. This action, which Trump has threatened if Congress does not act soon to toughen our overall Iran policy, would be a much more serious blow to American interests and to ... Read More »

Have 20 Years of NATO Expansion Made Anyone Safer?

Coco 3c

Since 1997, the world’s perhaps most powerful corporation and lobbyist has created more insecurity than security. Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.) Cohen notes that 20 years ago, in 1997, President Bill Clinton made the decision to expand NATO eastward. That same year, in order to placate post-Soviet Russia, then weak and heralded ... Read More »

North Korea Called Me a ‘War Maniac.’ I Ignored Them, and Trump Should Too.

Geli 1a

Smart diplomacy backed by the threat of force, not Twitter bluster, is the way to deal with Kim Jong Un. The last time events on the Korean Peninsula were in a state of crisis as urgent as what we are experiencing now was in 1994, when President Bill Clinton drew a… William J. Perry * Politico The regime in Pyongyang responded by threatening to turn the South Korean capital into a “sea of flames” and calling the U.S. defense secretary ... Read More »

Australia launches $10m satellite program to help spy planes detect warships, asylum seeker boats

Plau 1a

Australia is building three new satellites that will conduct audio and visual surveillance for the Defence Force The Federal Government has given $10 million to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra space team to complete the project. By political reporter Stephanie Borys ABC Work on the first satellite is already underway and is scheduled for lift-off next year. The device, which is known as a Cubesat, is the size of a loaf of bread and weighs about four ... Read More »

Trump may have to sanction Turkey for Russian deal

Rau 9i

Before their meeting Thursday, President Donald Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bragged about their friendship and claimed U.S.-Turkey relations are at an all-time high. Josh Rogin The Morning Call Trump may not be aware he might soon have to sanction Erdogan for striking a major arms deal with Vladimir Putin‘s Russia. “I think right now we are as close as we’ve ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship,” said Trump, on ... Read More »

Events in the Middle East force realism on Erdogan

Gale 2b

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have increasing difficulties with the West, but his position in the Middle East is not all that easy either. Semih Idiz  Al-Monitor His regional archenemy, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, continues to make headway, while his nemesis in Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, remains in power. The Qatar crisis caught him unaware and unsettled him. Meanwhile, he is bracing for the reign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, who is an enemy of the Muslim ... Read More »

Russia’s S-400s Will Protect Turkey From A “Kurdish Air Force”

PuEr 6f

Many people thought that this day would never come, but it’s official – Russian President Putin will sell his Turkish NATO counterpart S-400 missiles, and there’s nothing that the US or NATO can do about… Andrew KORYBKO OrientalReview This is a profound geo-military pivot for Turkey because it solidifies Russia’s role as the country’s high-level strategic partner for decades to come, considering that Russian experts will be relied on to provide maintenance, repairs, spare parts, and upgrades to these anti-aircraft… ... Read More »

What that missile deal really means for Turkey

Arab News 1a Green br

The Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile array has been described as the most sophisticated air defense system in the world. It can track up to 80 targets at the same time, aiming two missiles at each one. Yasar Yakis It can destroy aircraft, cruise missiles, medium range missiles, drones and other airborne surveillance systems. And now Turkey has bought it from Russia. Arab News “My colleagues have already signed a deal on S-400s. A deposit has also been paid as far ... Read More »

Russia, Turkey Sign S-400 Deal despite Criticism and Suspicion

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

Moscow – Moscow and Ankara confirmed on Tuesday that they signed a deal in which Moscow would sell Ankara S-400 missiles. Taha Abed alWahed “Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. ASHARQ AL-AWSAT A deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. He stated that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin “are determined on this issue.” This is the largest deal that Turkey signs with a country ... Read More »

US-Turkey Tensions Escalate Over Russian Missile Deal

Voa 1a

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed U.S. concerns about his government’s recent decision to buy an S-400 missile defense system from Russia In a speech Wednesday to mayors from his ruling AK Party, Erdogan said of the U.S., “They went crazy because we made the S-400 agreement. Dorian Jones VoA What were we supposed to do? Wait for you? We are taking and will take all our measures on the security front,” he added. The multibillion-dollar missile purchase has ... Read More »

Cardin: Turkey’s Purchase of Russian missile system may trigger sanctions

Benk 1a

Top Senate Foreign Relations Democrat warns $2.5 billion Turkey-Russia deal might violate new sanctions law that Trump opposed. Andrew Hanna Politico Turkey’s recent purchase of an advanced Russian anti-air weapons system may have violated a U.S. law that would require an automatic imposition of sanctions on the NATO member, a top Democratic lawmaker said today. The letter, sent by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin to Trump administration officials, warns that Ankara’s purchase of Moscow’s S-400 air defense system, which finalized on ... Read More »

Japan scrambles to growing incursions of China, Russia warplanes

Paulem 9i

Russian and Chinese aircraft are probing Japanese air defenses at a rate not seen in more than a decade Peter J. Brown Asia Times Amid talk of Beijing and Moscow playing a role to defuse the confrontation with North Korea, actions by China and Russia’s air forces around Japan would seem to be adding pressure on Tokyo to boost military… Russian and Chinese military aircraft are probing Japanese air defenses at a rate not seen in over a decade, causing ... Read More »

Get NATO’s Nukes Out of Turkey

Nex 8h

Even in this contentious era, one proposition still enjoys near-universal support: the United States should make it the highest priority to prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of hostile states. Jonathan Marshall HuffPost It’s far too late to stop North Korea from getting the Bomb, despite all the militant rhetoric coming out of Washington. But we still have a chance to prevent an erratic Middle East strongman from holding the United States hostage by threatening to seize dozens ... Read More »

Space: The Final National Security Frontier

Pera 3c

Space has become truly indispensable to decisionmakers and warfighters Mir Sadat The National Interest For some time now, experts have discussed how space is no longer only for exploration or passive surveillance but also serves as a potential warfare domain. However, space policymakers and decisionmakers continue to debate about America’s inability to keep up with the operational environment. Instead they should focus their attention on what the… Space: The Final… Read More »

North Korea Nuke Tests Show Need for New Policy Response

Newk 1a

North Korea’s sixth nuclear test heightens regional anxieties and is dangerous for populations living nearby. But in itself it does not fundamentally alter the situation nor should it raise the risk of military conflict. Instead, it should spur the U.S., South Korea and China to forge a stronger, more effective and more united diplomatic approach. ICG In a season of repeated North Korean provocative steps, the 3 September underground nuclear test ranks as the most serious to date. Not only will ... Read More »