Chinese armed drones now flying across Mideast battlefields

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FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2015, file photo, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi, center, inspects a first Chinese drone to be used by the Iraqi Air Force before sending it to bomb Islamic State group positions at an airbase in Kut, 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. Across the Middle East, countries locked out of purchasing U.S.-made drones due to rules over excessive civilian casualties are being wooed by Chinese arms dealers, who are world’s main distributor of armed drones. The sales are helping expand Chinese influence across a region crucial to American security interests and bolstering Beijing’s ambitions of being a world leader in high-tech arms sales. (AP Photo, File)

 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — High above Yemen’s rebel-held city of Hodeida, a drone controlled by Emirati forces hovered as an SUV carrying a top Shiite Houthi rebel official turned onto a small street and stopped, waiting for another vehicle in its convoy to catch up.

Seconds later, the SUV exploded in flames, killing Saleh al-Samad, a top political figure.

The drone that fired that missile in April was not one of the many American aircraft that have been buzzing across the skies of Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. It was Chinese. Continue reading

China Reveals Largest Defense Budget In Three Years

 

China’s government has been relatively vocal in transforming itself into a serious threat against the West — by modernizing its military in anticipation of future wars with Washington. It it therefore not surprising when the official Xinhua news agency reports that China will increase its defense budget by 8.1 percent in 2018, up marginally from last year’s 7 percent.

China has undoubtedly given America’s military-industrial complex and clueless politicians in Washington a stern message, by increasing its defense budget to the highest levels in more than three years, even as the country insists it does not mean harm. Continue reading

China’s Rapid Military Modernization Is “Remarkable,” Set To Challenge West On Several Fronts

Gone are the days of China catching up and now they are on par or ahead of world leaders in terms of military technology.

China already being at parity was noted in several posts over the years, including these:

China is opening a new quantum research supercenter

Chinese weapons reaching ‘near-parity’ with West: study

Chinese Defense Ministry Confirms Hypersonic Missile Test

 

 

China’s rapid military modernization is “remarkable,” and is no longer merely “catching up” with the West, reports the International Institute for Strategic Studies in their annual report on global military capabilities.

China’s emerging weapons developments and broader defence-technological progress mean that it has become a global defence innovator says Dr. John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of the London-based think tank.  Continue reading

Mexico was second deadliest country in 2016

 

(CNN) It was the second deadliest conflict in the world last year, but it hardly registered in the international headlines.

As Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan dominated the news agenda, Mexico’s drug wars claimed 23,000 lives during 2016 — second only to Syria, where 50,000 people died as a result of the civil war.

“This is all the more surprising, considering that the conflict deaths [in Mexico] are nearly all attributable to small arms,” said John Chipman, chief executive and director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which issued its annual survey of armed conflict on Tuesday. Continue reading

Chinese weapons reaching ‘near-parity’ with West: study

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined (AFP Photo/GREG BAKER)

 

China is beginning to export its own weapon designs, including armed drones, worldwide and is reaching “near-parity” with the West in terms of military technology, according to a report on Tuesday.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined. Continue reading

Obama’s Syria Non-Strategy is Imploding

Secretary of State John Kerry got the headline he was looking for last week when the press reported that the United States and Russia agreed on a cease-fire in Syria that would allow the delivery of food and humanitarian aid.

The cease-fire agreement was the latest in a series of diplomatic initiatives by the Obama administration to make it appear that it is doing something about the Syria crisis.  The agreement was in response to the stalled peace process begun by Kerry last fall that produced a vague outline for peace talks.  This outline called for a peace process that would lead to “credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections” to be administered under UN supervision.”  It also was agreed that formal peace talks under UN auspices would begin on January 1st. Continue reading

Vladimir Putin raises stakes with jammer threat to NATO jets

Russia has sent sophisticated jamming equipment to Syria that could blind NATO pilots in a further escalation of the stand-off in the Middle East.

The Krasukha-4 system has been spotted at a Syrian airfield being used by Russian fighter jets and its presence has been confirmed by US officials. The mobile system can disrupt surveillance by drones, satellites or western early warning aircraft.

It has a range of 300km, can also disrupt the systems of radar-guided missiles and would allow Russia to enforce a no-fly zone over President Assad’s military. Continue reading

Nato’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen sees power slipping away

There is an unmistakeable sense among Western decision-makers of power slipping away.

It’s not an argument about American abstention or decline, although that plays into it for some critics of the Obama administration.

It is more to do with the exhaustion – moral, political and economic – of nations that have been in the forefront of the international security business, and the vibrant ascendancy of some other players. Continue reading

Why Is Saudi Arabia Buying 15,000 U.S. Anti-Tank Missiles for a War It Will Never Fight?

BEIRUT — No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles that has Saudi-watchers scratching their heads and wondering whether the deal is related to Riyadh’s support for the Syrian rebels.

The proposed weapons deal, which the Pentagon notified Congress of in early December, would provide Riyadh with more than 15,000 Raytheon anti-tank missiles at a cost of over $1 billion. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Military Balance report, Saudi Arabia’s total stockpile this year amounted to slightly more than 4,000 anti-tank missiles. In the past decade, the Pentagon has notified Congress of only one other sale of anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia — a 2009 deal that shipped roughly 5,000 missiles to the kingdom. Continue reading

India tests nuclear capable missile with range as far as Beijing

BHUBANESWAR: India successfully test-fired for a second time a nuclear-capable missile on Sunday that can reach Beijing and much of Europe, bringing a step closer production of a weapon designed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent.

“The test was successful,” said Ravi Kumar Gupta, spokesman for the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). “It hit the target in a predefined trajectory. It met all the mission objectives”

India is trying to keep up with China’s growing military strength and wants to have a viable deterrent against its larger nuclear-armed neighbor. Continue reading