France’s Sale of 2 Ships to Russians Is Ill-Advised, U.S. Warns

WASHINGTON — In a closed-door meeting in February 2010, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged his French counterpart not to proceed with the sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia because it “would send the wrong message to Russia and to our allies in Central and East Europe.”

The French official, Hervé Morin, acknowledged that each of the ships — so-called Mistral-class vessels built for the French Navy to carry troops, landing craft, and helicopters — was “indeed a warship for power projection,” according to a confidential diplomatic cable on the meeting, which was made public by WikiLeaks. But Mr. Morin “asked rhetorically how we can tell Russia we desire partnership but then not trust them,” the cable added. Continue reading

Iran Sends Warships to Atlantic

Two Iranian warships set sail Tuesday for the Atlantic Ocean on their navy’s first-ever mission there, state TV reported.

The voyage comes amid an ongoing push by Iran to demonstrate the ability to project power across the Middle East and beyond. Continue reading

China Pres Urges Military To Expand, Strengthen

As China becomes a superpower, so with it comes the need for a stronger military.

President Xi Jinping told the Navy this weekend that he wants his military to train harder, strengthen their defense capabilities and protect the country’s “sovereignty, security and development.”

Last week, President Xi was at the Shenyang military theater of operations where he visited a training session aboard China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Continue reading

Zones of Future Conflicts

BEIJING/WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – German government advisors are warning against an arms race and possible military confrontations in East Asia. As a recent study by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) explains, China’s attempts to take control over its coastal waters and its maritime trade routes collide with the USA’s attempts to uphold Washington’s claims to maintain its “international leadership role.” The arms buildup of the Chinese Navy and the initial shift of US armed forces to the Pacific are colliding head-on and could – in the worst case – result in armed conflict. In effect, as a NATO partner of the United States, Germany would also be implicated in cases of conflict. German naval vessels are already being incorporated with growing frequency into the US Navy’s combat units. Berlin is also contributing to the expansion of NATO military cooperation with the pro-western countries of east and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific regions through military policy measures and arms exports. German naval circles are also demanding that the German Navy soon be given an arms upgrade and an offensive posture. Continue reading