Defence

Vladimir Putin says Russia will not move missiles closer to US unless American missiles move first

Vladimir Putin said he will match any move by the United States to deploy new nuclear missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the US, or by deploying faster missiles, or both. ABC Reuters The Russian President said he was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to the US Government’s decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty. But, in his toughest remarks yet ... Read More »

Against ‘Suffocation’ of Azov Sea: Ukraine Pleading EU for Help Against Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that his country would like to see the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB) engaged in efforts to avoid the “suffocation” of its Azov Sea shore. Written by @Eubulletin | The Azov Sea is a strategic territory coveted by Moscow. Russia has recently constructed a bridge across the Kerch strait, which Kyiv considers unlawful. Moscow moreover put in place controls over the international ships crossing the strait and Kyiv suspects that Russia ... Read More »

The Moment the Transatlantic Charade Ended

At the Munich Security Conference, Europe and the Trump administration stopped pretending to respect each other. Thomas Wrirgt The Atlantic Europe and the Trump administration have stopped pretending to respect each other. For the past two years, we have been treated to a transatlantic charade. Everyone knows there’s a problem, but publicly the leaders proclaim that nothing has fundamentally changed. But at the 2019 Munich Security Conference, which took place over the weekend, the charade ended. The American position is ... Read More »

Tajikistan: Report confirms significant Chinese security presence in Pamirs

Satellite images show a complex of around two dozen buildings on the border. “Remember,” a Chinese soldier told a reporter nosing around a remote spot in eastern Tajikistan. “You never saw us here.” Eurasianet The cat’s out of the bag now. A front-page story on the Washington Post on February 19 has confirmed long-held suspicions about the Chinese military presence in the desolate quadrant where the borders of Tajikistan, China and Afghanistan intersect. If it was previously suspected the deployment might be ... Read More »

Intel: How Trump’s choice as envoy to Turkey could complicate US Syria policy

The Donald Trump administration’s announcement that it plans to nominate veteran diplomat David Satterfield as ambassador to Turkey could shake up US policy in Syria. Al-Monitor The post has sat vacant for more than a year as relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated over the Pentagon’s backing of a Syrian Kurdish group in the fight against the Islamic State. Why it matters: Satterfield’s confirmation could pit two influential diplomats against each other as the Trump administration tries to hammer ... Read More »

Pence: ‘We will not stand idly by’ as Turkey purchases S-400

MUNICH — Vice President Mike Pence repeated warnings to Turkey not to proceed with the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, a day after Turkey dismissed the first of two deadlines to cease with the… Tara Copp Military Times Pence, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, told attendees “we will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries. We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the… The U.S. ... Read More »

Billions Dead: That’s What Could Happen if India and Pakistan Wage a Nuclear War

This is the real nuclear crisis the world is missing. Armed with what they believe is reasonable intelligence about the locations of Pakistan’s strategic forces, highly accurate missiles and MIRVs to target them, and a missile defense that has a shot at cleaning up any Pakistani missiles that survived the… Zachary Keck The National Interest With the world’s attention firmly fixated on North Korea, the greatest possibility of nuclear war is in fact on the other side of Asia. That ... Read More »

US updates warning over Turkey travel amid rising political tensions

Turkey announced it would purchase Russia’s missile system The US Department of State on Thursday updated its travel advisory for Turkey amid stalled US-Turkey talks on Syria and growing differences over Venezuela and Turkish S-400 deal with Russia. Joyce Karam The National Turkey announced Thursday it would be going ahead with a purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system, ahead of an informal Friday deadline to respond to a rival US offer. Turkey, a NATO member, made repeated moves to buy ... Read More »

U.S. ally Turkey looks to Russia and Iran to protect its interests

Analysis: The U.S. organized a global conference on the Mideast in Warsaw, but Turkey’s leader is at a summit with Russian and Iranian leaders instead. By Dan De Luce NBC WASHINGTON — As Trump administration officials presided over the second day of an international conference in Warsaw dominated by calls to ratchet up pressure on Iran, one longtime U.S. ally and NATO member was noticeably absent — Turkey. Snubbing the gathering in Poland, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday ... Read More »

Crisis Group Yemen Update #4

Below is the fourth weekly update as part of Crisis Group’s Yemen Campaign. ICG This week we look at fighting near the Saudi-Yemeni border and strains on the ceasefire around Hodeida, as well as international developments. Trendline: The Overlooked Battle for Yemen’s Northern Border Though the battle for the Red Sea port and city of Hodeida is paused until the UN-brokered deal to demilitarise the area succeeds or collapses, fighting on other fronts has intensified, particularly along the Saudi-Yemeni border. ... Read More »

The Russian Navy Is About to Become A Lot Deadlier

Moscow is deploying “Black Beret” Marines on all its warships. Michael Peck The National Interest The Russian Navy is deploying marines aboard all its warships sailing to overseas stations. Their mission is to secure these ships against terrorists and saboteurs.  The anti-terrorist groups will be posted on ships sailing to distant sea zones, according to Russian newspaper Izvestia . “Marines often accompanied the ships and vessels of the Soviet Navy from the late 1960s to 1991. They strengthened the crews ... Read More »

The future of arms control is global: Reconsidering nuclear issues in the Indo-Pacific

On Feb. 1, a reporter asked President Donald Trump if the announced U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was as much about the Western Pacific as it was about Russia. Andy Weber and Christine Parthemore War on the Rocks In response, Trump affirmed his view that for the arms control pact to work, more countries would need to be added: “I hope that you’re able to get everybody in a big and beautiful room and do a new ... Read More »

Forget Those F-35s and Nukes: Is Iran’s Military Stronger Than Israel’s?

Israeli media is abuzz over a website that ranks the world’s armies—and placed Iran above Israel. Michael Peck The National Interest Is Iran’s military stronger than Israel’s? Israeli media is abuzz over a website that ranks the world’s armies—and placed Iran above Israel. Iran’s armed forces ranked thirteenth in the world, according to GlobalFirepower.com’s 2018 rankings, which apparently combined various statistics to assemble a composite military power rating (0.3131 for Iran, with 0.00 being a perfect score). Israel ranked sixteenth, ... Read More »

Trump Asks for Unity, but Presses Hard Line on Immigration

WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but signaled that he will continue to wage war for the… Peter Baker The New York Times In a nationally televised speech that toggled between conciliation and confrontation, Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he pressed lawmakers to build a… “We must reject the politics ... Read More »

INF nuclear treaty: Russia plans new missile systems after pullout

Russia says it is planning to develop new missile systems after both Russia and the US suspended their involvement in an arms control pact. BBC The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) banned the pair from using short- and medium-range missiles. The US has long accused Russia of violating the pact, and last week US President Donald Trump announced he would exit it. Russia followed suit. The moves have raised concerns about a new arms race. The INF was signed during ... Read More »

Chinese navy veteran warns training, not hardware is key to military preparedness

As China expands its military might a retired naval officer points out that size is not everything in modern warfare ‘It is the people who use these weapons that count’ When Wang Yunfei, a retired Chinese naval officer, was on vacation in Okinawa in January, he watched with a heavy heart as Japanese fighter jets and helicopters carried out a routine training exercise at Naha Airport. Guo Rui South China Morning Post The cloud was low and the sky was ... Read More »