Defence

East Timor bugging: Politicians call for AFP to investigate Australian spies’ role in 2004 operation

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Intelligence whistleblower turned independent MP Andrew Wilkie has called on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to launch an investigation into the role the nation’s intelligence services played in the… By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC The 2004 incident led to a souring of the relationship between Canberra and East Timor, as the two nations were negotiating a deal on accessing offshore oil deposits at the time. Last month, Mr Wilkie used parliamentary privilege to reveal the Commonwealth Director of Public ... Read More »

Trump says Putin is not enemy or friend but ‘competitor’

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“Is he my enemy? He is not my enemy … Hopefully someday maybe he will be a friend. I just don’t know him very well,” he said speaking at a press conference at the NATO Summit when asked if he presented a… Sevil Erkuş – BRUSSELS Hurriyet In his meeting with the Russian leader, Trump said he would raise issues of arms control, extending New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), and Russian violations of the… “We go into that meeting ... Read More »

It’s Time to Disrupt NATO

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But not for the reasons Trump gives. Benjamin Schwarz The Nation NATO summits customarily amount to public-relations lovefests, in which sonorous communiqués declaring the vitality of the “Atlantic community” obscure what has become the increasingly dangerous moves of the… But President Trump, no surprise, promises to make this summit uncharacteristically uncomfortable and potentially rancorous. The issue for progressives is that, mostly inadvertently and largely for the wrong reasons, Trump will be disrupting an established pattern sorely in need of disruption ... Read More »

A Strategic Reset for NATO

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Donald Trump’s criticism that the alliance isn’t fit for form is valid. NATO needs an overhaul. Zalmay Khalilzad The National Interest At the NATO summit this week, President Donald Trump will undoubtedly criticize allies for not spending enough on defense and for pursuing their own economic wellbeing, in part at the… The president has been lambasted for criticizing U.S. allies and indeed, our alliances are important and represent some of the greatest achievements of U.S. foreign policy. However, Trump’s criticisms ... Read More »

A turning point for Europe’s military spending

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This week’s NATO summit in Brussels will be pivotal to the future of the Atlantic alliance. Will European countries spend more in the context of NATO, or try to go it alone with European defense? By Raytheon Politico As European and North American leaders converge on Brussels on 11-12 July for a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the amount each spends on their militaries is bound to be one of the most controversial topics. With global threats ... Read More »

‘No One Wants To Look Like Trump’s Poodle’: NATO Allies Gear Up For Brussels Summit

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President Trump arrives in Brussels Tuesday for a summit at NATO, the latest pillar of the international order left wobbling by his adversarial approach to allies. Alice Fordham npr With his escalating complaints that the United States contributes more than its fair share to defense, and vague threats to countries that do not spend more, Trump is diluting the alliance’s appearance of unity, say diplomats and… And, the prospect of a less-than-committed U.S. has thrown some of Europe’s military weaknesses ... Read More »

NATO Is Obsolete

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“Europe is prosperous and treats America like a patsy. Let it stand on its own.” Before the United States President Donald Trump attempts real diplomacy with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki on July 16, he’ll first be subjected to another summit. Christian Whiton The National Interest That first summit is a gathering of leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These leaders continually assure the United States they are America’s best allies, even as most ... Read More »

Here’s How the Road to Iraq Is Repeating Itself with Iran

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America had better hope that its leaders and media learn from the clamor for invading Iraq in 2003. Christopher A. Preble The National Interest Rob Reiner’s movie “Shock and Awe,” due to hit theaters on July 13, reminds us of the role that provocateurs and conspiracy theorists played in building the case for war with Iraq. (Spoiler alert: this article reveals key movie plot lines, including that the United States did, in fact, invade Iraq in 2003, and that most of the ... Read More »

Patriotic Mobilisation in Russia

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The Kremlin is fostering a culture of military-tinged patriotism, partly to rally support for armed interventions abroad. ICG The sentiment springs from pride in Russia’s past as a global power and desire to reclaim that status. Its possible co-optation by far-right nationalists, however, should worry Moscow. What’s new? In recent years, the Kremlin has pursued a policy of patriotic mobilisation – encouraging national pride, commemorating past military victories and promoting a vision of Russia as a reborn global power. While ... Read More »

Trump tensions peak ahead of NATO summit

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Strains in the U.S.-European relationship are peaking just as President Trump prepares to face allies at this month’s critical NATO summit. Rebecca Kheel The Hill Trump has repeatedly complained that members aren’t meeting the alliance’s defense spending goal. But the meeting comes at a difficult time, with the broader U.S.-European relationship already under stress from Trump’s tariffs, his… Those looming issues have raised fears of a replay of last month’s contentious Group of Seven summit. The mood of the… Trump ... Read More »

The EU and NATO and Trump — Oh My!

TOPSHOT - German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (2ndR) listen to US President Donald Trump at the Belvedere of Taormina during the Summit of the Heads of State and of Government of the G7, the group of most industrialized economies, plus the European Union, on May 26, 2017 in Sicily.
The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and Italy will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia during the summit from May 26 to 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s trans-Atlantic policy is a contradiction in terms. Stephen M. Walt FP It is no secret that U.S. President Donald Trump has an instinctive animus against the European Union and NATO. He supported the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, reportedly advised French President Emmanuel Macron that his country should leave the union too, and last week falsely claimed that the EU was created “to take advantage of the United States.” (This last statement raises an… The EU and… Read More »

Trump Warns NATO Allies to Spend More on Defense, or Else

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WASHINGTON — President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies — including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada — taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience with what he said was their failure to meet security obligations shared by the alliance. Julie Hirschfeld Davis The New York Times The letters, sent in June, are the latest sign of acrimony between Mr. ... Read More »

A Vietnam “Solution” to the Afghanistan War?

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The January 1973 agreement between North Vietnam and the United States can be applied to the present, stalemated situation in Afghanistan. John Mueller The National Interest Ιt was in 2010 that United States President Barack Obama  told an interviewer that he could easily imagine a situation in which “we ended up staying in Afghanistan for another five years, another eight years, another ten years. And we would do it not with clear intentions but rather just out of an inertia.” Last year, ... Read More »

Army ‘was set to shoot down a jet’

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BRITAIN was prepared to shoot down hijacked civilian aircraft nearly 30 years before 9/11, declassified documents have revealed. By Marco Giannangeli, EXCLUSIVE Express The orders, from senior British Army commanders followed attempts by the IRA to seize control of civilian aircraft from which they intended to carry out “air raids” on British Army checkpoints After the twin towers attack in 2001, it was revealed that RAF Tornado pilots had been authorised to give rogue civilian aircraft just two chances before ... Read More »

Australia officially announces $26B frigate contract. Here are the build details

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MELBOURNE, Australia ― Australia will acquire nine high-end anti-submarine warfare frigates from the end of the next decade under a deal with BAE Systems worth AU$35 billion (U.S. $26 billion). Nigel Pittaway Defense News The announcement was formally made Friday at the ASC shipyard in Osborne, South Australia, by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher… A version of BAE Systems’ City-class Type 26 ASW frigate, now under construction for the British ... Read More »

The Palestinians and Nuclear Weapons

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The unresolved Israel-Palestinian conflict is one of the major factors preventing an effective region-wide prohibition of nuclear weapons. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest The significance of the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been the subject of tendentious debates. The right-wing government of Israel, not wanting to relinquish the conquered land whose relinquishment would be necessary for peace, often contends, along with its sympathizers, that peace in… The region has become preoccupied with other things, goes the argument, and even ... Read More »