Defence

Turkey: Putin’s Ally in NATO?

On September 17, 1950, more than 68 years ago, the first Turkish brigade left the port of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, arriving, 26 days later, at Busan in Korea. Burak Bekdil Gatestone Institute Turkey was the first country, after the United States, to answer the United Nations’ call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked that year. Turkey sent four brigades (a total of 21,212 soldiers) to a country that is 7,785 km away. By the ... Read More »

Bolton slams Turkey over refusal to abandon S-400 deal with Russia

Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton has blasted the S-400 deal as one of several major stumbling blocks in US-Turkish relations. AMNnews “We’re concerned about their purchase of the Russian air defence system called the S-400 – that’s a big problem,” Bolton said, speaking to AM 970 radio host John Catsimatidis on Sunday morning. Asked directly by Catsimatidis whether Turkey was a “friend or foe” to the United States, the top Trump foreign policy adviser cited a host of other problems affecting relations. “Well you know they’re still a NATO ally; ... Read More »

The Brief – Replacing Turkey in NATO

A global geopolitical shift has taken place without the wider audience noticing. Turkey has drifted apart from the US and NATO, it has got much closer to Russia, and… By Georgi Gotev with Sam Morgan | EURACTIV.com Turkey is still a NATO member. But it has repeatedly said it is committed to buying Russian missile defence system, despite warnings from the United States that the S-400s cannot be integrated into the NATO air defence system. Missile defence is not a… ... Read More »

Russia’s Next Land Grab Won’t Be in an Ex-Soviet State. It Will Be in Europe.

First he came for Georgia, then for Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s next target is likely to be a non-NATO nation in the EU. By Mikheil Saakashvili FP Not many observers would consider the world’s coldest shipping lane a geopolitical hotspot. But that may be about to change. Last week, reports emerged that a new Kremlin policy will require all international naval ships to give Russia 45 days’ notice before entering the Northern Sea Route, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans ... Read More »

US Wants To Change The Law Of The Sea – Analysis

The US is frustrated by North Korea’s continuing violation of UN sanctions by using rogue vessels to import and export banned cargo, sometimes transferring the cargo at sea. Mark J. Valencia Eurasia Review So it wants to interdict suspect vessels on the high seas using force if necessary. The problem is that doing so without the consent of the flag state would violate the international law of the sea. John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor is taking the lead ... Read More »

Picking Up the Pieces After Hanoi

The collapse of last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was perhaps the inevitable result of a process in which the two leaders dominated, optimistic about their personal relationship and confident in their abilities. Richard N. Haass Project Syndicate The question is what to do now. NEW YORK – When last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal, the result was not surprising. ... Read More »

The Best of Bad Options for Syria’s Idlib

The Syrian regime vows to reconquer Idlib, the north-western zone hosting its hardest-core remaining jihadist opposition. ICG But an all-out offensive would be calamitous. Turkey and Russia should recommit to their “de-escalation” deal for Idlib, bolstering it with measures that buy time for a lasting solution. What’s new? An agreement between Turkey and Russia that protects Syria’s rebel-held Idlib governorate from a regime offensive is under increasing stress. Clashes between jihadists and other militants inside Idlib and regime forces have ... Read More »

Russia Claims Total Military Superiority in the Arctic

The steady and costly buildup of military might in the Arctic has apparently reached a level sufficient for Russia to claim sovereign rights over international waters along the entire length of the Northern Sea Route (known in Russian as Sevmorput), from the… By: Pavel Felgenhauer Eurasia Daily Monitor The Jamestown Foundation Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov told journalists, “This territory [the Arctic] is within the sphere of Russian interests. We will not give it away or let it slip away,” ... Read More »

Indonesia leans towards Iver Huitfeldt class for frigate acquisition

Defence planners from the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) are increasingly leaning towards a variant of the Iver Huitfeldt class in their quest to acquire two more frigates for the… Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore – Jane’s Navy International The frigates are being acquired as part of the second phase of the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) modernisation blueprint, which runs from 2015 to 2019. Indonesia acquired two SIGMA 10514 vessels from… A piece of unclassified correspondence between the country’s defence minister, Ryamizard ... Read More »

Angela Merkel successor AKK responds to Emmanuel Macron’s vision for Europe

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has presented her own proposals to tackle populism, economic uncertainty, international security and migration. Deutsche Welle “Europe must become stronger,” she wrote in response to the… In an op-ed published in the Welt am Sonntag, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) contrasted a “European way of life” with social and political models in China, the… “Europe must become stronger,” she wrote. While Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer echoed some of the plans set out by French President Emmanuel ... Read More »

US, Philippine defense ties under the gun

Washington says for first time it will come to Manila’s defense in the South China Sea but Filipino top brass want even firmer security assurances Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times Ιn a policy departure with ramifications for regional peace and stability, US President Donald Trump’s administration has explicitly reaffirmed its obligations to the Philippines under their 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on March 1 during a visit to Manila that his country would ... Read More »

How to Make a Middle East Superpower: Arm Israel with F-22s and B-21 Bombers

Possible? This is not to say that Israel needs, or could use, something analogous to the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. Robert Farley The National Interest However, a more modest boat with a smaller number of missiles of limited range could indeed prove very useful to Israel’s efforts to create a robust second-strike capability. A flotilla of four such boats would provide a nearly invulnerable retaliatory capacity. With only a few notable exceptions, Israel can buy whatever it wants from the… ... Read More »

Russia Tightens Control Over Northern Sea Route

The Kremlin has formulated new limitations for foreign warships transiting the Northern Sea Route (NSR), the Arctic route connecting the Kola Peninsula with the… By MarEx  The Maritime Executive In a policy change first reported by Izvestia, the Russian government now intends to require foreign governments to provide 45 days of advance notice for warship voyages along the… In addition, it will need the name and rank of each vessel’s master, along with all ship’s particulars, and it specifies that ... Read More »

The Politics of Selling Weapons to Algeria

Algiers looks to shift away from its dependance on Moscow. One of the biggest buyers of Russian weapons systems on the African continent wants the United States to revisit the restrictions that prevent it from buying military gear made in America. Maggie Ybarra The National Interest Algeria’s ambassador to the United States, Madjid Bouguerra, told the National Interestthat his country is looking expand its weapons acquisition program and improve its military-to-military relationship with the United States, which has been on a… ... Read More »

Does Russia See a War Threat in Warsaw?

The United States need not further inflame the new cold war with unnecessary and provocative basing arrangements in Eastern Europe. Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest In a surprising twist on Ostpolitik, the United States has become entranced by the charms of Poland. Warsaw has diligently sent contingents off to Afghanistan, and agreed last year to increase their numbers. It has also become a reasonably large market for U.S. armaments. While Washington admittedly did not get too excited about Poland’s global climate change conference last ... Read More »

Despite US Threats, Another Ally Mulls Russia’s S-400

Another US ally — and host of a critical Middle Eastern air base — is considering buying a high-tech Russian missile system. By Paul McLeary Breaking Defense What can Washington do about it? WASHINGTON The Trump administration’s promise last year to slap sanctions on countries who buy Russian military equipment appears to have done little to deter key allies. For months, American allies from India to Saudi Arania to Turkey have weighed absorbing the promised economic hit, while a new ... Read More »