Archive for the ‘military’ Category

Iran Deploys Missiles in Persian Gulf; Rumors of Israeli, U.S. Attack

May 12, 2009

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps has deployed mobile ground-to-air and ground-to-sea missile batteries in the Strait of Hormuz and other areas in the Persian Gulf, a senior Iranian official was quoted by Al Watan as saying on Tuesday.

The source told the Saudi-based newspaper that the move was made after Iran received reports that the US and Israel were preparing to attack the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities.

Meanwhile, Revolutionary Guard Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned of the military and non-military threats facing Iran.

Read it all from the Jerusalem Post:

China Takes Leap Ahead of U.S. in Cyber Warfare

May 12, 2009

China has developed more secure operating software for its tens of millions of computers and is already installing it on government and military systems, hoping to make Beijing’s networks impenetrable to U.S. military and intelligence agencies.

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times

The secure operating system, known as Kylin, was disclosed to Congress during recent hearings that provided new details on how China’s government is preparing to wage cyberwarfare with the United States.

“We are in the early stages of a cyber arms race and need to respond accordingly,” said Kevin G. Coleman, a private security specialist who advises the government on cybersecurity. He discussed Kylin during a hearing of the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission on April 30.

The deployment of Kylin is significant, Mr. Coleman said, because the system has “hardened” key Chinese servers. U.S. offensive cyberwar capabilities have been focused on getting into Chinese government and military computers outfitted with less secure operating systems like those made by Microsoft Corp.

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Middle East Peace Will Be Decided by Netanyahu, Obama Meeting

May 10, 2009

President Obama’s critical meeting with Binyamin Netanyahu next week has become the acid test for the Administration’s commitment to peace in the Middle East, King Abdullah of Jordan said yesterday.

The monarch does not conceal his feelings about the Israeli leader. He described their last encounter – 10 years ago when he had just come to the throne – as the “least pleasant” of his reign. But he, and President Mubarak of Egypt, are expected to meet the Israeli leader before his trip to Washington, where the future course of the region could be decided.

The King said that he was prepared to believe what Israelis have told him — that a right-wing Government in Israel is better able to deliver peace than the Left.

May 2008 at World Economic Forum“All eyes will be looking to Washington,” he said. “If there are no clear signals and no clear directives to all of us, there will be a feeling that this is just another American Government that is going to let us all down.”


If Israel procrastinated on a two-state solution, or if there was no clear American vision on what should happen this year, the “tremendous credibility” that Mr Obama had built up in the Arab world would evaporate overnight.

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Obama Silently Caves in To Russia

May 10, 2009

The Pentagon said Thursday it was seeking a $1.2-billion funding cut in missile defense spending for fiscal 2010.

Immediately following Barack Obama’s election last fall, Moscow went on a gigantic public relations campaign to persuade the new administration to cut back on missile defense — including the system planned for Poland and the Czech Republic.

Now Medvedev and Putin must be very proud that they’ve gotten their way…

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir ...

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attend the Victory Day parade at Red Square in Moscow May 9, 2009. President Medvedev warned against “military adventurism” on Saturday, saying Russia would firmly defend its interests — just as it did during World War Two when the Soviet Union defeated fascism.

REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

By giving only lukewarm verbal support for missile defense, slashing the overall defense budget, and dealing with Russians and others to signal weak support for missile defense, President Obama will curtail the nation’s and allied missile defense efforts drastically without even mentioning the program.

Already he has reportedly offered to eliminate the European missile defense effort in a some kind of deal with Russia in exchange for Russian help with Iran’s nuclear program.

Consequently, many European allies see the U.S. as not really interested in missile defese any more.

And the Administration backed away from military planners who suggested the U.S. should shoot down the last long range North Korean missile test.


Russia warns foes in Soviet-style show of might

(AFP) — Russia on Saturday sternly warned its foes not to dare attempt any aggression against the country, as it put on a Soviet-style show of military might in Red Square including nuclear capable missiles.

The display to mark the 64th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War IIcame amid renewed tensions with Georgiaafter NATO’s decision to hold war games in the Caucasus country infuriated Moscow.

“We are sure that any aggression against our citizens will be given a worthy reply,” President Dmitry Medvedev said in a speech in Red Square side-by-side with powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Military vehicles move along Red Square in Moscow during the ...

Military vehicles move along Red Square in Moscow during the Victory Day parade May 9, 2009. President Dmitry Medvedev warned against “military adventurism” on Saturday, saying Russia would firmly defend its interests — just as it did during World War Two when the Soviet Union defeated fascism. Medvedev, opening the biggest and most spectacular Victory Day parade in modern Russia’s history, clearly aimed his warning at post-Soviet neighbour Georgia which Russia defeated in a five-day war last August.


“The victory over fascism is a great example and a great lesson for all peoples and is still current today when people are again starting military adventures,” he added.

Russia’s war with Georgia in August over Georgian breakaway regions sent Moscow-NATO ties to their worst level since the Cold War and tensions have flared again over the alliance’s decision to go ahead with the exercises.

Moscow, which remains at loggerheads with Georgia’s pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili, angrily condemned the war games that started this week as a provocation that risk stoking instability in the region.

“Protecting the motherland is our holy duty, it is a moral foundation for all generations,” said Medvedev. “The future of Russia will be peaceful, happy and successful.”

Before handing over to Medvedev as president last year, Putin resurrected the Soviet practice — dropped after Communism — of having missiles and heavy tanks rumbling over the Red Square cobbles in front of Russia’s leaders.

Thousands of soldiers and more than 100 items of hardware featured in the Red Square parade, which was matched by similar demonstrations across Russia involving almost 30,000 troops, officials said.

Thousands of soldiers marched past Medvedev and Putin, before dozens of heavy tanks, including the main T-90 battle tank and the Sprut self-propelled anti-tank gun, thundered through Red Square to the sound of martial music.

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Iran to procure Chinese defense system

May 10, 2009
Iran will turn to China instead of Russia to acquire an advanced air defense system after relations between Iran and Russia hit rock bottom, the official Iranian news agency PressTV reported.

From The Jerusalem Post


For years Iran has been trying to purchase the S-300 anti-aircraft missile, which is considered to one of the most advanced systems available on the market and would dramatically increase Iran’s air defense capabilities against any attacks on its nuclear installations.

The S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which can track targets and fire at aircraft 75 miles away, features high jamming immunity making it harder to incapacitate the system electronically, and is able to engage up to 100 targets simultaneously.

Teheran will now turn to China for the HongQi-9/FD-2000 system which reportedly combines elements “borrowed” from the Russian S-300 and the American MIM-104 Patriot system, according to the Iranian news agency.

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Israel is worried about Iran’s nuclear development effort, the work of Russia and China to block effective U.N. sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, and the “unknowns” of  the American President.

In Obama Administration: Who Is Minding The Store? SecDef Critical Of Basic Planning

May 8, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a review of notification procedures for high-visibility “training events” such as the Air Force One photo shoot that flew over the Manhattan skyline last month, striking fear in the hearts of New Yorkers. 

From Fox News

In a letter responding to a request by Sen. John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gates wrote that he was concerned that the public had not been adequately informed about the flyover, a picture of which is expected to be released Friday by the White House. 

“I am concerned that this highly public and visible mission did not include an appropriate public affairs plan nor adequate review and approval by senior Air Force and (Department of Defense) officials,” Gates wrote in the letter dated Tuesday and later obtained by FOX News. 

Participants on the flight included one combat photographer, a standard crew complement for Air Force One and the two F-16s that accompanied it and no non-duty personnel or extra passengers, Gates wrote.  

Gates wrote the mission was planned in late March 2009 and was coordinated by the White House Military Office’s Presidential Airlift Unit, which is an Air Force unit; Federal Aviation Administration liaisons; a Systems Operations Security team; traffic managers; New York air traffic control representatives and Newark and LaGuardia tower supervisors. 

Gates wrote the FAA notified several agencies on April 24, 2009, about the impending event, including the U.S. Park Police, the New York City mayor’s office, the New York City Office of Emergency Management, New York City Police Department Operations, New Jersey State Police Regional Coordination Center and New Jersey area emergency operations centers in Newark, Jersey City, Bayonne, Hoboken and Elizabeth.

The plane flew at FAA-approved altitude, according to the defense secretary. In conjunction with the photo shoot, the pilots also practiced instrument approaches and landings at Atlantic City International Airport, an approved training location.

The April 27 flyover sparked chaos in the city since the public, and even Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had not been notified it would take place. Thousands of New Yorkers, reminded of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, quickly evacuated office buildings and emergency call centers were inundated. 

“The reaction to the low-flying VC-25 and F-16 fighter aircraft over New York City (NYC) is understandable, and we deeply regret the anxiety and alarm that resulted from this mission,” Gates wrote.

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Obama Terrific On Teleprompter; Bad On Planning
Obama’s Terror Document Release: Ill Conceived Gaffe, Well Thought Out Mistake, or Calculated Attack on Bush White House?
Administration Has No Sense of Accountability, Buck Stops Here

US almost doubles military aid to Pakistan

May 8, 2009

The United States has earmarked $700 million in its budget for the next fiscal year for training and equipment to improve Pakistan’s counterinsurgency capability.

By Anwar Iqbal
Dawn Newspaper, Pakistan

This is a major increase from the $400 million set aside for this purpose in the current fiscal year which expires on Sept. 30.

This marks the first time since 2003 that the Afghan war funding surpassed the outlay for Iraq. The Pentagon is seeking $130 billion in war funds for 2010, including $65 billion for Afghanistan and $61 billion for Iraq. For 2009, the Pentagon had request $87 billion for Iraq and $47 billion for Afghanistan.

The move demonstrates a shift in US priorities as the Obama administration increases its focus on fighting the militants it holds responsible for planning and executing the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The proposed fund for Afghanistan covers the deployment of 21,000 additional US troops this year, raising the total to 68,000. More funds would be required if President Obama decides to meet the request of US commanders for 10,000 more troops next year.

The Pentagon’s $534 billion base budget is $21 billion, or four per cent, larger than last year’s. It includes key initiatives to reshape the US military to fight insurgencies across the world.

Major spending increases include $2 billion on intelligence and reconnaissance, $500 million to field and maintain helicopters, and funds to add 2,400 personnel to Special Operations Forces in 2010 as well as aircraft to support them. More will be spent on some modern weapons systems, with an increase in the purchase of littoral combat ships and the ‘fifth generation’ F-35 fighter jets.

The 2010 Pentagon eliminates $8.8 billion in weapons programmes that were in the 2009 budget. It would halt the programme for the F-22 fighter jet after 187 are manufactured.

Other major cuts include ending the $13 billion presidential helicopter programme, which has more than doubled in cost; the $19 billion transformational satellite programme; and the Air Force combat search-and-rescue helicopter programme, as well as cutting $1.2 billion from missile defence.

In Pakistan: Some Hope; But Much To Doubt

Australia prepares for U.S. decline

May 8, 2009

Since World War II, U.S. military dominance has underpinned the Asia-Pacific region’s prosperity and relative peace. So it’s cause for concern when one of America’s closest allies sees that power ebbing amid unstable nuclear regimes such as Pakistan and North Korea and the expanding military power of China.

From the Wall Street Journal

In the preface to a sweeping defense review released Saturday, Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon writes: “The biggest changes to our outlook . . . have been the rise of China, the emergence of India and the beginning of the end of the so-called unipolar moment; the almost two-decade-long period in which the pre-eminence of our principal ally, the United States, was without question.”

Australia isn’t forecasting the end of U.S. dominance soon; the report predicts that will continue through 2030. There are also a few bright spots, such as a stronger India and the emergence of Indonesia as a stable democratic ally.

But without sustained U.S. defense spending and focus on the Asia-Pacific, it’s unclear which nation will ultimately dominate the region — and that could have profound effects on security and trade. The clearest challenge comes from China, which the Pentagon estimates spent $105 billion to $150 billion in 2008 bulking up its forces. Australia also worries about instability among its Pacific island neighbors, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and emerging threats like cyber war.

In response to this outlook, Canberra is retooling its defense. It is doubling the size of its submarine fleet to 12 from six and buying about 100 Joint Strike Fighters, three destroyers and eight frigates. The ships and subs will be equipped with cruise missiles. It will also upgrade its army and special forces units and look for new ways to cooperate with the U.S. and other regional democratic powers.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Saturday: “Some have argued that in the global economic recession we should reduce defense spending to ease the pressure on the budget. But the government believes the opposite to be true. In a period of global instability Australia must invest in a strong, capable and well resourced defense force.”

Australia currently spends around $13.1 billion a year on defense, not counting money for new equipment. The new policy paper says spending will increase by 3% annually until 2018, which isn’t much. But the importance of Canberra’s message is about priorities. Australia is worried about the end of the “unipolar moment.” Americans and Asians should be worried too.

Vietnam Orders Fleet of Russian Subs, Sending Message to China

May 7, 2009

In what may be a not-so-stealthy message to Beijing amid citizen protests of China’s growing influence in its country, Vietnam has ordered a small fleet of silent Russian attack submarines.

Foreign policy experts say Vietnam’s national identity is bound up in the idea of opposition to China, and the deal to buy the subs is the latest sign that the country of 87 million is concerned about “Sinification.”

By Joseph Abrams
Fox News

“The Vietnamese government is committed to a normal relationship with China, but nobody in Vietnam sleeps with their China eye closed,” said Brantly Womack, professor of foreign affairs at the University of Virginia.

“A good part of Vietnam’s patriotic identity is its righteous resistance to China.”

Vietnam’s $1.8 billion deal with Russia for six Kilo-class submarines is a substantial order for the tiny, struggling country, whose annual military budget is estimated at just $3.6 billion, according to Jane’s Intelligence Review.

Above: Kilo submarine
While not a signal of an arms race, “it’s something that is pretty clearly a response to Chinese buildups” of force in the area, said Womack….

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China rejects US criticism over military strength

China “Demands” U.S. Stop Violating Chinese Exclusive Economic Zone

China’s Military Build-Up Meant To Take On U.S., Says Joint Chiefs Chairman

China’s Naval Might: Future Dawning Quickly

China rejects US criticism over military strength

May 6, 2009

China blamed the United States on Wednesday for the latest naval confrontation between the countries, after rejecting criticism by Washington that Beijing‘s rising military strength is focused on countering U.S power.

A U.S. Navy ship “violated” international and Chinese laws by entering what China considers its “exclusive economic zone” without authorization, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said.

By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer
“It entered China’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Yellow Sea without permission from the Chinese side. China is concerned about it, and asked U.S to take effective measures to prevent a similar case from happening again,” he said in a statement.

The Pentagon said the latest encounter occurred Friday in international waters when two Chinese fishing vessels came dangerously close — to within 30 yards (27 meters) — of the USNS Victorious as it was operating in the Yellow Sea.

The Victorious crew sounded its alarm and shot water from its fire hoses to try to deter the vessels in an hour-long incident, one official said. The vessels didn’t leave until the Victorious radioed a nearby Chinese military vessel for help, said Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman.

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China “Demands” U.S. Stop Violating Chinese Exclusive Economic Zone