Daily News Roundup

Posted by Chris van Avery on 01Apr11.

Libyan envoy now supporting opposition says most high-rank Libyan officials trying to defect
Britain in talks with 10 more Gaddafi aides
Gaddafi ‘not at breaking point’
Gaddafi warns of ‘out-of-control’ Christian-Muslim war
UAE and Qatar pack an Arab punch in Libya operation
Al Qaeda’s Libya Pilgrimage
Bulgaria sends warship to join operation against Gaddafi regime
U.S. mulling ‘all types of assistance’
Turkey says arming Libya rebels could spawn terrorism
Yemen leader ‘must leave country’
Family of Leader Stalls Yemen Talk
Assad faces new test with ‘Day of Martyrs’ protests
Syria announces step toward lifting emergency rule
Syria: the boldness of Bashar al-Assad
Bahrain security releases prominent blogger after holding him a day in custody
Iran-backed Shi’ites seen quietly plotting next move in Bahrain
Hezbollah denies training Bahraini protesters
In Saudi Arabia, Calls For April 22 Day Of Rage
Saudi strategist to Gulf states: Time to go nuclear
Saudi Nukes in Gulf
Jordan’s would-be revolutionaries express pessimism
Jordan’s pro-king supporters deny link to protest violence reported by Human Rights Watch
Egypt’s Top Spy a U.S. Concern
Egypt: Fears of Salafis and calls to divorce religion from politics
Qatar’s Quest to Become the Leading Arab State
Kuwait Cabinet resigns over Bahrain crisis
Kuwait says Iranian Guards behind spy cell
The Danger of a Tehran Winter
Turkey learns rules of the game in Iraq
Hamas expected to block Abbas visit to Gaza Strip
Israel releases army map showing nearly 1,000 purported Hezbollah underground military sites
Israeli government foresees armed conflict with West Bank Jews
Package with white powder closes US consulate in Jerusalem
Guards beheaded at NATO terminal in Afghanistan
India population count hits 1.2bn
Pakistan Islamist chief targeted
Sri Lanka web editor is arrested
Warning on Japan evacuation zone
Japan mobilizes 100,000 troops for tsunami recovery in biggest mission since World War II
‘Japan finds nuclear radiation above legal limit in meat’
Farmers block road for days until paramilitary troops defuse large China protest
China rounding up dissidents ahead of leadership change
China hits out at Japan’s claim to Diaoyutai Islands
Beijing bomb suspect tells court he was aiming for ‘a foreigner’
Can China Remain a Low-Key Superpower?
Taiwan Too Precious for U.S. to Sacrifice
Choose dialogue or war, North Korea tells South
Medical aid for N Korea
South Korean activist sends propaganda balloons to North Korea despite retaliation threats
More Indonesian Islamists resorting to violence, anti-terror agency says
Ivory Coast PM: Gbagbo has until 7pm (an hour ago) to resign
In Ivory Coast, Gbagbo’s Forces Defect En Masse: Reports
Tunisian rescuers retrieve bodies of 27 migrants in waters off Mediterranean coast
China’s New Imperialism in Angola
How Russia will matter beyond energy and minerals
Russia’s Arctic Opening
Harsh Measures only Strengthen the Insurgency in Dagestan
Swiss nuclear lobby hit by bomb
German police say they foiled Dortmund stadium bomb plot
Mail bomb defused at maximum security prison in Greece where parcel-bombing suspects are held
Italy hits out at neighbours over north African migrant influx
Australia warns Bali bomb arrest could spark attacks
2nd Mexican attorney general under President Calderon resigns; Departure follows leaked cable
Outbreak of ‘superbugs’ in Alabama hospitals
Farmers Chase High Crop Prices

UK: Somalia piracy ‘out of control’
Authorities in Awe of Drug Runners’ Jungle-Built, Kevlar-Coated Supersubs

U.S. Gunships Will Be ‘on Standby’ in NATO’s Libya War
GatesFAIL: How Hope Became Military’s Plan in Libya
NATO After Libya
US Marines being sent to Japan for nuclear response
State Blocks Taiwan Arms
China’s military, under fire over transparency, seeks to build trust with neighbors
China eyes US military expansion
China’s Army Chief Of Staff to Visit U.S.
No Good Men, Weapons or Understanding of Modern Warfare in Russia
Thai navy joins flood rescue mission
10 hurt after Hornet engine catches fire
F-35 training wing commander fired
Budget impasse stressing troops, forcing cuts
Must Every Carrier be a Supercarrier?

Strong magnitude 6.4 earthquake strikes near Tonga; no reports of injuries, damage or tsunami

Wal-Mart US CEO To America: “Prepare For Serious Inflation”
Oil price jumps on supply fears
Europe Tackles Debt, U.S. Ignores It
Increase in eurozone interest rates would be ‘disaster’ for Spain, warns Catalonia’s economy minister
Irish banks need extra 24bn euros
Colombia ‘Optimistic’ on U.S. Trade Deal
Trade with China Is Good for the United States

Boehner says ‘no deal’ on continuing resolution
Tea partiers warn GOP on dealmaking
Within Obama’s war cabinet, a looming battle over pace of Afghanistan drawdown
Entitlements Are Bankrupting the Federal Government
GOP plans $1 trillion cut to Medicaid
Ethanol Policies Leading to Higher Food Prices
Republicans grill DHS officials on FOIA, as report says agency delayed releasing documents
Several thousand demonstrate outside New Hampshire Statehouse against proposed spending cuts

Christian Group Says Indian Army Officers Played Role In Violence Against Christians
Iran: Arrest and Freedom of Two Christians in Ahwaz
Vietnam Clamps Down on Independent Christians, Report Says
Catholic Church: Internet Satanism increases demand for new exorcists
‘State Of The Plate’ Report: Donations At U.S. Churches Rise In 2010

  Security News Today – 10/20/10

Posted by Chris van Avery on 20Oct10.

China policy fight
With President Obama set for a major trip to Asia next month and the Obama administration nearing the halfway point of its first term, U.S. officials tell Inside the Ring that a heated policy debate is under way over how to deal with China.

If Pakistanis Thought Like Americans
With the U.S.-Pakistani strategic dialogue resuming in Washington today, the relationship could hardly be worse. The trust deficit, already vast, has been stressed to the breaking point by NATO incursions into Pakistan and the subsequent ten-day closure of the major land supply route from Karachi to Afghanistan in retaliation. But there is a grimmer prospect.

And the winner is … Muqtada
Iraq’s next government will likely be Iran-friendly and Shi’ite-friendly, headed by incumbent Nuri al-Maliki, but crucially with the support of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. At the same time, although Iraq has the third-largest proven oil reserves in the world, it will be exploited by Chinese, Russian and Asian companies, not US Big Oil – the final nail in the coffin of the neo- conservative fantasy of a Greater Middle East as an American lake.

Turkey Objects To Nato Missile Shield Targeting Iran
Turkey has imposed hurdles to Nato’s planned anti-ballistic missile shield in Europe by demanding proof that the system would not exclusively target Iran. The development raised further concerns that Turkish foreign policy was tilting outside the sphere of the Western alliance towards alignment with its eastern neighbour.

Tamil Tigers Trying To Regroup
TAMIL rebel leaders based in the United States and Norway are trying to revive their defeated separatist movement, Sri Lanka’s prime minister told parliament on Tuesday.

Trans-Atlantic Austerity: Can NATO Remain Relevant Amid Defense Cuts?
When NATO leaders convene in Lisbon in November to adopt a new Strategic Concept, the alliance’s blueprint for the future, they will find that trans-Atlantic security has entered an age of austerity. Burdened by weakened economies, allied governments are cutting their defense budgets, some significantly. However, retrenchment and reduced ambitions are not NATO’s only options.

Chris van Avery is an Asia-Pacific FAO and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and blogs on a variety of topics at The Yankee Sage .

  Maritime Strategy News

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 03Mar09.

Japan prepares for first use of ‘Son of Star Wars’ missile defence

Japan risks international humiliation if it tries and fails to take out a North Korean rocket with the expensive SM-3 missile system
Richard Lloyd Parry, Tokyo

Japan is preparing to deploy a controversial missile defence system against an imminent North Korean rocket launch, in what could be the first use of the so-called “Son of Star Wars” system to knock out an intercontinental ballistic missile.

In a move that could have strategic implications for the whole northeast Asian region, the Japanese Government plans to dispatch naval destroyers equipped with anti-missile systems to the seas off North Korea, as the isolated dictatorship continues preparations for the launch of a rocket.

As long as the weapon passes through the atmosphere far above Japan, as seems to be the intention, the system will probably not be fired. But if the rocket malfunctions and threatens any of its islands, then Japan will become the first nation to use a long-range missile defence system in anger.

“If it is capable of reaching Japan then it goes without saying that we will react,” Japan’s defence minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said today. “We have been making preparations, including BMD [ballistic missile defence], for any incident which could affect Japan. If it will affect Japan then it will be our target.”

Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported today that the destroyers Kongo and Chokai will be sent to the Sea of Japan that separates the two countries. Both are equipped with SM-3 missiles that are designed to intercept an incoming ballistic missile midway through its course, after it has passed beyond the earth’s atmosphere and into space. But the political and strategic risks of such an attempt are very large.

German navy foils Somali pirate attack

The German navy has foiled a pirate attack on a container ship off the Somali coast and arrested nine pirates. A military spokesman in Berlin said the frigate Rheinland-Pfalz received a distress call in the Gulf of Aden early on Tuesday from a German-owned ship that reported to be under fire from pirates armed with bazookas and machine guns. The German frigate, with the assistance of a nearby US naval ship was able to halt and board the pirates’ vessel and took nine pirates into custody.

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  Maritime Strategy News

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 26Feb09.

China’s navy goes global to protect its import sea lanes

The People’s Republic of China recently dispatched two navy ships — its most advanced No. 171 “Chinese Aegis” class DDG and No. 169 “Chinese Sovremenni” class DDG — to the waters near Somalia to engage in anti-pirate operations. As a Chinese expression goes, “Why use an ox-cleaver to kill a chicken?”

This high-profile action represents a great step forward for the People’s Liberation Army navy toward becoming a global blue-water maritime force. Its leaders seem to be following in the footsteps of Adm. Sergei Gorshkov, who commanded the Soviet navy for nearly three decades and built it into a global sea power. He said his navy would fly the flag of the Soviet Union in every corner of the five continents and four great oceans on Earth, as they all fell within the range of Soviet interests.

On Jan. 4 the People’s Liberation Army Daily published an article by someone named Huang Kunlun claiming that “Maritime trade has without any doubt become the lifeline of the Chinese economy, and the oceans are now China’s critical communication and navigation channels. Using maritime forces to protect national maritime interests is an important measure for the PLA navy to safeguard the national interest of our country.”

This article put forward for the first time the concept of a “national interest frontier,” implying that PLA operations should be extended to wherever China has interests. The author advocates “protecting the national interest frontier” as the call of a new era and an inevitable trend.

This concept of a national interest frontier is, in fact, the 21st century version of the Gorshkov theory, under which the Soviet naval commander advocated the strategic use of an oceangoing navy.

Warship Stops Pirate Attack on Chinese Ship in Gulf of Aden

Danish warship the Absalon, patrolling in the Gulf of Aden, stopped yesterday an attack by pirates against a Chinese freight ship, which had sent out a distress call.

The Absalon confiscated weapons of seven pirates, who had fired on the freighter, Denmark’s navy said late yesterday on its Web site. The Absalon and a U.S. warship offered medical aid to possible injured personal at the Chinese vessel, which was declined, according to the navy statement.

Chinese navy saves Italian ship from pirates: state media

Chinese naval forces thwarted a pirate attack on a Liberian-flagged Italian merchant ship this week in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia, state media said on Thursday.

The incident occurred on Tuesday when a helicopter from the Chinese destroyer Haikou saw a pair of small pirate vessels closing on the ship and fired a pair of signal flares to drive them off, Xinhua news agency said.

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