Israel wants to sign US aid deal before Obama depar

Negotiations over military aid package ongoing in Washington over level, whether part can be spent in Israel.. Key voices inside the government are arguing it is in Israel’s interests to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to govern US military aid for the next decade while President Barack Obama is in office, as a way of locking in support for the deal from wider swaths of the American public… Source: Israel wants to sign US aid deal before Obama departs – ... Read More »

The B-58 Hustler: America’s Cold War Nuclear Bomber Blunder

She was a work of art—but was nearly obsolete from the start.. In an era of fantastic aircraft, the B-58 Hustler was one of the most visually striking warplanes ever to fly. Its delta wing, giant engines, and remarkable performance gave rise to the myth that pilots could literally tear the wings off the bomber if they flew it too fast… Source: The B-58 Hustler: America’s Cold War Nuclear Bomber Blunder | The National Interest Read More »

Israel suspends permits after deadly attack

The Israeli military revoked on June 9 permits for 83,000 Palestinians to visit Israel and said it would send hundreds more troops to the occupied West Bank after a Palestinian gun attack that killed four Israelis in Tel Aviv. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assault by two gunmen on Wednesday in a trendy shopping and dining market near Israel’s Defense Ministry, but Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups were quick to praise it. The assailants came ... Read More »

NATO troops in massive airborne exercise in Poland irks Russia

About 2,000 NATO troops conducted an airborne training operation on June 7 as part of the biggest exercise performed in Poland since the 1989 end of communism and amid concerns over Russia.. Scores of U.S. troops and then military vehicles parachuted into a spacious, grassy training area on the outskirts of the central city of Torun. The force’s mission was to secure a bridge on the Vistula River as part of the Polish-led Anakonda-16 exercise that involves about 31,000 troops ... Read More »

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Beijing’s artificial islands bring South China Sea crisis to the boil

A tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is ready to give its verdict on a complaint by the Philippines, which has challenged China’s territorial rights in the South China Sea. The verdict is set to address the simmering crisis in the South China Sea which will come to the boil later this month. Assertion China has rightfully asserted that the tribunal cannot adjudicate maritime boundaries; these can only be determined through bilateral negotiations between the parties ... Read More »

Nigeria: The Challenge of Military Reform

Nigeria’s military is in distress. President Muhammadu Buhari’s over-due reforms aren’t yet enough to turn an under-resourced, over-stretched and corrupt army back into a professional force. A complete overhaul is needed, including accountability for human rights abuses, if Nigerians are not to be left at the mercy of Boko Haram and other armed groups… Source: Nigeria: The Challenge of Military Reform – International Crisis Group Read More »

In a Reversal, Germany’s Military Growth Is Met With Western Relief

BERLIN — You know times have changed when the Germans announce they are expanding their army for the first time in 25 years — and no one objects. Back when the Berlin Wall fell, Britain and France in particular feared the re-emergence of a German colossus in Europe. By contrast, Berlin’s pledge last month to add almost 7,000 soldiers to its military by 2023, and an earlier announcement to spend up to 130 billion euros, about $148 billion… Source: In ... Read More »

Cyprus sidelined as Brussels scrambles to save Turkey migrant deal

Push to allow Turkish participation in European agencies worries Nicosia.. The European Commission has put new pressure on Cyprus in a bid to meet Turkish demands for quicker integration into the Brussels lawmaking machine. After convincing Nicosia earlier this year to soften its opposition to Ankara’s EU membership bid in order to secure a deal with Turkey on stemming the flow of refugees into Europe, the Commission is now reviving long-frozen Turkish requests for participation in European rule-making bodies on ... Read More »

Timor-Leste pushes Australia to conciliation

Australia has yet to enter into compulsory conciliation talks with Timor-Leste over maritime boundaries, but it has already disputed the legality of the process.. Timor-Leste rolled out the red carpet last month to Vladimir Golitsyn, president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the Hamburg-based judicial body established to deal with disputes under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)… Source: Timor-Leste pushes Australia to conciliation | The Saturday Paper Read More »

Russia vs. America: A Nuclear Bomber Showdown

Who wins?.. In the previous articles “These Russian Nukes Are Better Than America’s” and “U.S. vs Russia: Struggling for Undersea Nuclear Supremacy” we reviewed the strategic nuclear balance between Russia and the United States in the context of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (IСBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), respectively. We have also examined in… Source: Russia vs. America: A Nuclear Bomber Showdown | The National Interest Read More »

Blaming Spree: Is Ankara Really Seeking to Mend Russo-Turkish Relations?

Due to his inconsistent foreign policy Turkish President Erdogan still remains at odds with Russia. It is hardly surprising since Ankara has spoiled relations with countries all across its neighborhood.. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bid to acquire almost absolute power in Turkey as well as his inconsistent foreign policy triggers concerns both in Russia and in the West… Source: Blaming Spree: Is Ankara Really Seeking to Mend Russo-Turkish Relations? Read More »

A nuclear arms race in East Asia?

It is a place where most nations deeply distrust their neighbours, and where old-style nationalism still reigns supreme.. by Andrei Lankov Andrei Lankov is professor of Korean Studies at Kookmin University, Seoul. He is the author of “The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia”. Recently, news from the Korean Peninsula has been dominated by missiles: as satellite images confirmed, the North Koreans have been busy preparing another test launch of “BM-25 Musudan”, their intermediate-range missile… Source: ... Read More »

US says it does not consider Gülen movement a terror organization

The U.S. has stated that the country does not consider the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen a terror organization, a position which stands in contrast with the latest decision taken during a Turkish National Security Council (MGK) meeting on the movement… Source: US says it does not consider Gülen movement a terror organization – AMERICAS Read More »

From Bosnia to Iraq: The Failure of Forced Coexistence

The obsession with inviolable borders often creates dangerously divided societies.. Janko Bekić The U.S.-led military interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, rump Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq have revealed Washington’s inclination toward forcible regime change and external democratization, but also its propensity for the maintenance of the status quo in regard to international boundaries (with Kosovo’s secession from Serbia as an obvious exception to… Source: From Bosnia to Iraq: The Failure of Forced Coexistence | The National Interest Read More »

Buhari’s Nigeria: Boko Haram Off Balance, but Other Troubles Surge

The peaceful election in March 2015 of President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general, raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing security problems could soon be tamed. One year later, the new government has struck at the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency. But Nigeria is sliding deeper into other difficulties. Senior Nigeria Analyst Nnamdi Obasi looks at the main challenges… Source: Buhari’s Nigeria: Boko Haram Off Balance, but Other Troubles Surge | Crisis Group Read More »

French and German leaders mark Verdun battle centenary

The French and German leaders mark the 100th anniversary of Verdun, the longest battle of World War One and one of its most brutal.. France and Germany have marked the 100th anniversary of the World War One battle of Verdun in north-eastern France with a call for European unity. France’s Francois Hollande and Germany’s Angela Merkel used Verdun as a symbol of both reconciliation between their nations and of EU integration… Source: French and German leaders mark Verdun battle centenary ... Read More »