German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Russia’s actions in Ukraine had eroded mutual trust with the West, speaking on the eve of a major NATO summit in Poland.
“If through words and deeds the validity of (international) law and the inviolability of borders are questioned, then of course trust is lost,” she told the German parliament. Continue reading
The military alliance’s latest review of security threats, released today, highlights the “proliferation of ballistic missiles” as a “threat to Allied populations, territory and forces”.
General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, author of the report, said: “Over 30 countries around the world have, or are acquiring, ballistic missile technology that could eventually be used to carry not just conventional warheads, but also weapons of mass destruction.”
Japan’s military is kept on a very short leash under a war-renouncing constitution written by U.S. officials whose main concern was keeping Japan from rearming soon after World War II. But if Japan’s soon-to-be prime minister Shinzo Abe has his way, the status quo may be in for some change.
Abe, set to take office for a second time after leading his conservative party to victory in elections last Sunday, has vowed a fundamental review of Japan’s taboo-ridden postwar security policies and proposed ideas that range from changing the name of the military – now called the Japan Self-Defense Forces – to revising the constitution itself.
Most of all, he wants to open the door to what the Japanese call “collective defense,” which would allow Japan’s troops to fight alongside their allies – especially the U.S. troops who are obliged to defend Japan – if either comes under direct attack. The United States has about 50,000 troops in Japan, including its largest air base in Asia. Continue reading