Security

Pentagon Confirms Chinese Fired Lasers at U.S. Pilots

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The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that Chinese nationals fired lasers near a military base in east Africa against U.S. military aircraft in the region, injuring several pilots. JewsNews Pentagon Press Secretary Dana White said the U.S. government made diplomatic protests to the Chinese government over several recent incidents of laser firings near China’s first overseas military base at Djibouti. “These are very serious incidents. There have been two minor injuries. This activity poses a threat to our airmen,” White told reporters. ... Read More »

Cuba to host Colombia-ELN rebel peace talks

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Cuba will host peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist ELN rebels aimed at ending a five-decade conflict after Ecuador bowed out as host, negotiators said May 5. BOGOTA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is trying to conclude a peace agreement with the country’s 1,500-strong last active rebel group, similar to the one signed with the larger FARC guerrillas in November 2016. The FARC has since become a political party. Five other countries — Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Norway and Venezuela — ... Read More »

Mirror Images: The Standoff between Moscow and Western Capitals

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Russia and the West are mired in mutual mistrust, sinking deeper with each contretemps in the post-Soviet space and every round of sanctions punishing perceived Russian malfeasance. Magdalena Grono ICG A rapprochement appears unlikely soon, so both sides must open channels to avert confrontations where their interests collide. Relations between Russia and the West are at a perilous juncture. The two sides’ narratives on major issues of the day – for instance, the future of Crimea or the wars in ... Read More »

The Challenge of Reinstating Sanctions Against Iran

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It’s Not as Simple as Withdrawing From the JCPOA Peter Harrell FP U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be on the brink of withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with… He faces a May 12 deadline to renew waivers of key U.S. sanctions on Iran, and despite pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to do so, Trump seems set to deliver on his January ... Read More »

France aerospace research firm Onera will shutter two locations. But what happens to the wind tunnel?

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PARIS ― Onera, an aerospace research center, said it aims to shut down two sites in pursuit of its broad restructuring plan. Pierre Tran DefenseNews That reorganization is part the “structural outlook” for this year, Onera Chairman and CEO Bruno Sainjon said during a May 3 news conference on the 2017 financial results. This year will see moves to shut down research facilities at Meudon and Chatillon, just outside the capital, and the staff moved to the Palaiseau headquarters on the ... Read More »

Dutton’s home affairs department argues against restrictions on facial recognition

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Concerns have been raised about the Coalition’s facial-recognition bill, with critics saying it goes far beyond what has been agreed Paul Karp The Guardian Peter Dutton’s home affairs department has fought against proposed restrictions on a new facial-recognition system, rejecting calls for warrants and a threshold for serious offences that justify use of the… At a parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security hearing on Thursday the Law Council of Australia raised concerns that facial recognition could be used to ... Read More »

Turkey’s fighter jet program races ahead as Russian firm reveals interest

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s program for the design, development and production of the country’s first indigenous fighter jet gained pace late in April when two local prime contractors joined forces to outline a production scheme for critical parts. By: Burak Ege Bekdil DefenseNews Meanwhile, in a surprise move, a top Russian aerospace concern expressed interest in developing an engine to power the TF-X, the Turkish fighter aircraft in the making. On April 26, two strategic local contractors of the TF-X ... Read More »

How Europe Can Save the Iran Nuclear Deal

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The U.S. is threatening to withdraw from the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program if no one “fixes” it by President Donald Trump’s deadline of 12 May. ICG The danger of deeper Middle East turmoil is great. Europe should salvage the deal no matter what Trump decides. What’s new? The U.S. is threatening to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran if what it calls the deal’s “disastrous flaws” are not fixed by 12 May. Europe is scrambling to ... Read More »

China quietly installed defensive missile systems on strategic Spratly Islands in hotly contested South China Sea

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China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its fortified outposts in the South China Sea, sources tell CNBC. By all accounts, the new coastal defense systems are a significant addition to Beijing’s military portfolio in one of the most contested regions in the world. Amanda Macias | CNBC China has quietly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its fortified outposts west of the Philippines in the South China Sea, ... Read More »

Israelis targeted Iranian anti-aircraft missiles in Sunday strike: US officials

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Iran vows retaliation as sources say Israel preparing for open warfare Asia Times A late-night air strike targeting a base in the Syrian city of Hama was carried out by Israeli F-15s, US officials revealed on Tuesday amid calls for retaliation from Iran. Media outlets associated with the Syrian government and Hezbollah initially suggested Israel was behind the attack, but parties on both sides were slow to shed light on the strike. The three US officials, cited by NBC News, ... Read More »

Moscow’s Maritime threats to Ukraine and the West

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Since invading Ukraine in 2014, Moscow has become significantly bolder. Russia has expanded into Ukraine’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the body of water up to 200 miles from the country’s coast that is internationally recognized as its legal territory. Stephen Blank 112 international Russia’s recent naval activity around Ukraine and the Baltic Sea is more than simply a threat to countries in the region. In fact, it represents a challenge to the international order, one that could be replicated by ... Read More »

Brexit an opportunity to show the world UK’s military power, Defence Secretary says

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London: The world often reveres Britain and looks to the United Kingdom to lead, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson says. Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald Speaking to the free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs, at the Churchill War Rooms in Westminster, Mr Williamson said Brexit should be used as an opportunity to demonstrate Britain’s military prowess across the world. “We forget the way that the world sees us, respects us and often reveres us – they look to ... Read More »

Malabar 2018: India deals a blow to Australia and ‘the Quad’

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The shadow of China looms large in India’s decision to exclude Australia from an upcoming multilateral naval exercise Canberra confirmed last Thursday that its navy would not be part of Malabar 2018, which will be held off Guam between June 7 and 15. Emanuele Scimia Asia Times So this year’s Malabar drills will maintain a trilateral format, involving the naval forces of India, the United States and Japan. This means the project of a Quadrilateral (Quad) alliance/dialogue among New Delhi, ... Read More »

What is the hidden story of White Helmets?

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Technologies combining the best traditions of conservatism with the new digital thinking and a very peculiar interpretation of logic, normative-legal and ethical norms are now at the forefront of hybrid wars. Editor ISF The best confirmation of this is the activity of the White Helmets, specializing in fake chemical attacks in Syria. In 2013, two years into the Syrian civil war, the “Syrian Civil Defence” is created in the UK as a non-governmental organization. This UK registered NGO is also ... Read More »

Pompeo puts onus on Palestinians to rejoin peace talks

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U.S. Secretary of State  Pompeo‘>Mike Pompeo wound up a three-day Middle East trip April 30 without having met any Palestinian, but nevertheless urged their leadership to rejoin the peace process. Hurriyet Washington’s newly appointed top diplomat received a warm reception in Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Amman, focusing his talks on Iranian interference in the region – despite the tensions once against rising between Israel and the Palestinians. Forty-five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border since the… Pompeo puts onus… Read More »

Israel drops gauntlet on Malaysia’s help to Hamas

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Targeted assassination of researcher in Kuala Lumpur likely part of Israeli campaign to kill overseas Palestinian scientists and engineers Nile Bowie Asia Times Thousands of mourners gathered in Gaza on Friday for the funeral of Fadi al-Batsh, a respected Palestinian researcher and engineering lecturer who was assassinated by gun-wielding assailants in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on April 21 while heading to a mosque for dawn prayers. Al-Batsh studied electrical engineering in Gaza and earned a PhD on the subject ... Read More »