China Adds Advanced Missiles to South China Sea Islands

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Pentagon plans major response to Chinese hegemony

China’s military has stepped up militarizing disputed islands in the South China Sea by deploying advanced missile systems on the Spratly islands, according to the Pentagon.

Defense officials disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that the militarization has raised alarm bells about China’s creeping takeover of the strategic waterway used for some $5 trillion annually in international trade. Continue reading

US struggles to counter Chinese maritime hegemony

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has spoken out against China’s strategy of “intimidation and coercion” in the South China Sea, including the deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers, and, more recently, the landing of nuclear-capable bomber aircraft at Woody Island. There are, Mattis warned, “consequences to China ignoring the international community.”

But what consequences? Two successive US administrations – Barack Obama’s and now Donald Trump’s – have failed to push back credibly against China’s expansionism in the South China Sea, which has accelerated despite a 2016 international arbitral tribunal ruling invalidating its territorial claims there. Instead, the US has relied on rhetoric or symbolic actions. Continue reading

Bashar al-Assad warns US troops to leave Syria as he raises prospect of clash

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Credit: AFP

 

The US should learn the lesson of Iraq, President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday, threatening to expel American troops from Syria and retake areas from its Kurdish allies.

In the interview with RT, the Russian state’s international broadcaster, Assad raised the prospect of conflict with US forces if they do not leave Syria.

He vowed to recover territory where American troops have deployed, either through negotiations with Washington’s Syrian allies or by force.

Assad, who is backed by Russia and Iran, appears militarily unassailable in the war that has killed an estimated half a million people, uprooted around 6 million people in the country, and driven another 5 million abroad as refugees. Continue reading

China in race to overtake the US in AI warfare

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A Chinese-made CH-5 reconnaissance and combat drone and its compatible missiles at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai city in south China’s Guangdong province on November 2, 2016.

 

Beijing is pushing hard to integrate artificial intelligence and autonomous weapons – robotic arms capable of thinking and acting at the speed of light

Earlier this month Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping met with senior military scientists as chairman of the all-powerful Central Military Commission.

During the meeting, the Chinese leader was photographed at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences shaking hands with Major General Li Deyi, a leading authority on artificial intelligence, or AI, and a key figure in the Chinese military’s effort to overtake the United States in the emerging field of advanced weapons.

The meeting between Xi and the military experts garnered little public attention. Continue reading

Pentagon says Trump ordered Washington military parade

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with law enforcement officials on the MS-13 street gang and border security, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to plan a grand parade of the U.S. armed forces in Washington this year to celebrate military strength, officials said Tuesday.

The Washington Post, which was first to report the plan, said Trump wants an elaborate parade this year with soldiers marching and tanks rolling, but no date has been selected. Continue reading

North Korea conducts mass-evacuation drills as threat of war heightens

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

 

North Korea has been conducting rare mass evacuation and black out drills throughout the country in preparation for war, it emerged this weekend.

Multiple sources told NK News that the drills have taken place in secondary and tertiary cities and towns, particularly along the east coast, but not in the capital city, Pyongyang. Continue reading

Ignoring empty threats, Iran tightens its military noose around Israel

Hamas’ Saleh Arouri in Tehran.

 

Iran pressed ahead with its plans this week, regardless of the loud scorn and threats poured on Tehran from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Washington.

On Friday, Oct. 20, less than two weeks after Saleh Arouri, Deputy Chief of the Hamas political bureau, approved an Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement between his party and the rival Fatah, he was leading a large Hamas delegation to Tehran. Continue reading

Mattis to Army: ‘Stand ready’ if North Korea diplomacy fails

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks during the opening ceremony of the AUSA annual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday. (Mike Morones)

 

America’s relationship with North Korea remains a diplomatic one, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Monday, but he urged members of the military to be prepared in case the situation breaks down.

Mattis also used his keynote speech at the annual AUSA conference in Washington, D.C., to thank allies who have stood with the U.S. through the ages.

“It is right now a diplomatically, economic-sanctions-buttressed effort to try and turn North Korea off of this path,” Mattis told the audience. “What does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say.”

Continue reading

U.S. Open to Providing Weapons to Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis walks past honour guards during a welcoming ceremony in Kiev, Ukraine August 24, 2017. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

 

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is signaling his support for suppling the Ukraine with weapons. During a visit to that country Thursday, Mattis said Washington would keep up pressure on Russia over what he called its aggressive behavior.

Continue reading

Reports of North Korea artillery drill as US submarine docks in South Korea

The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan arrives for a regularly scheduled port visit while conducting routine patrols throughout the Western Pacific in Busan, South Korea, April 24, 2017. Jermaine Ralliford/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

 

North Korea conducted a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military as a U.S. submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force amid growing concern over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes.

SEOUL:North Korea conducted a big live-fire exercise on Tuesday to mark the foundation of its military as a U.S. submarine docked in South Korea in a show of force amid growing concern over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes.

The port call by the USS Michigan came as a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group steamed towards Korean waters and as top envoys for North Korea policy from South Korea, Japan and the United States met in Tokyo. Continue reading

Trump: ‘Highly successful’ Yemen raid on group tied to San Bernardino attack produced ‘vital intelligence’

Navy SEAL Ryan Owens

 

The U.S. special operations raid in Yemen in which Navy SEAL Ryan Owens lost his life was highly successful and resulted in “large amounts of vital intelligence,” President Donald Trump said on Feb. 28 in his address to a joint session of Congress.

“Ryan died as he lived: A warrior, and a hero — battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” Trump said.

Owens’ widow, Carryn Owens, was a guest of the president for the speech. Continue reading

EU army? Brussels ‘to set up NEW MILITARY UNIT’ amid growing tensions in Europe

The EU is set to move closer towards military integration

The EU is set to move closer towards military integration (Getty)

 

BRUSSELS bureaucrats are said to be planning to set up a new military unit in a bid to increase greater defence cooperation, according to diplomats.

The division, known as the Military Planning and Conduct Capabilities (MPCC) unit, could be responsible for the EU training missions in African countries including Somalia, Mali and Central African Republic.

There are early suggestion the MPCC is set to be based in Brussels, the same location as the EU Military Staff (EUMS), who provide military expertise to EU members. Continue reading

Merkel yields to Trump: Germany should meet defense spending obligation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

 

U.S. President Donald Trump is actively pressuring NATO allies to increase their defense spending. Germany currently spends about 1.2 percent of GDP on defense, which Merkel vows to change if she is elected for a fourth term in office this September.

“Obligations have to be fulfilled,” Merkel said at a campaign rally on Feb. 25. “And, others in the world will demand that of us. And, I think they’re right that Germany must uphold its obligations.” Continue reading

America Is Pushing Germany to Become ‘the Leading Military Power in Europe’

Caption: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis hosts a joint press meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 15, 2017. (Brigitte N. Brantley/Flickr)

 

Europe doing more means Germany doing more.

United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave European nations a blunt ultimatum a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday: Spend more, or lose U.S. support.

“No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” he said. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”

“America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense,” he warned. Continue reading