US and Gulf nations seek 'missile shield' against Iran
As tensions with Iran grow over its refusal to suspend its nuclear program, United States and Gulf nations said to be mulling deployment of broad regional missile defense system to ward off potential Iranian attack.
As reported by The New York Times on Wednesday, the United States and its Arab allies are knitting together a regional missile defense system across the Persian Gulf to protect cities, oil refineries, pipelines and military bases from an Iranian attack. 10.08.12 More
Canada 'spy' sold US, Australia, UK secrets
A Canadian naval officer arrested this year for allegedly leaking secrets may also have compromised top level Australian, British and American intelligence, a report said Wednesday.
Jeffrey Delisle, a naval intelligence officer, was charged in Canada in January with communicating over the past five years "with a foreign entity, information that the government of Canada is taking measures to safeguard".
Canadian reports said Ottawa expelled four Russian diplomats in the aftermath of Delisle's arrest, although Moscow denied this. 25.07.12 More
U.S. lawmakers cut Pentagon ties with Russian arms exporter
U.S. lawmakers passed a bill on Thursday breaking contracts between the Pentagon and Russian state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport, which they claim is "arming the oppressive Syrian regime,” the House of Representatives said on its website.
The bill, introduced by Democrat Congressman Jim Moran, was passed by an overwhelming 407-5 vote and was attached to the 2013 U.S. military budget, according to the House of Representatives’ statement. 20.07.12 More
U.S to build missile defense radar station in Qatar to counter Iranian missiles
The U.S. is setting up missile radar battery in the Middle East to counter the threat posed by Iran as it continues testing long range ballistic missiles.
Earlier this month, Iran tested a surface-to-surface missile which successfully hit their targets. The so-called Shahab-3 missile is capable of reaching Israel and southern Europe. The missiles are also capable of hitting U.S. bases in the region.
In an effort to protect U.S interests and allies against Iranian rockets, the Pentagon has chosen a secret site in Qatar to build a missile-defense radar station and is organizing its biggest-ever minesweeping exercises in the Persian Gulf. 18.07.12 More
U.S., Israel developed Flame computer virus to slow Iranian nuclear efforts, officials say
The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort.
The massive piece of malware secretly mapped and monitored Iran’s computer networks, sending back a steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyberwarfare campaign, according to the officials.
The effort, involving the National Security Agency, the CIA and Israel’s military, has included the use of destructive software such as the Stuxnet virus to cause malfunctions in Iran’s nuclear-enrichment equipment. 20.06.12 More
U.S. Navy UAV crashes in Maryland
A huge unmanned aircraft operated by the U.S. Navy crashed Monday along Maryland’s eastern shore, the Navy confirmed, but no injuries or personnel damage has been reported.
The crash, at about 12:11 eastern time, reportedly took place in a marshy area of the Nanticoke River, near Bloodsworth Island in Dorchester, Md., about 20 miles from the city of Salisbury.
The Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D) aircraft, a modified Air Force Global Hawk RQ-4, is operated from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., as part of the overall BAMS development program. The jet-powered plane, one of the largest unmanned vehicles operated by the U.S. military, has a wingspan of more than 130 feet, although it is only about 47 feet long. The Navy operates at least five BAMS demonstrators, some of which have been deployed to Afghanistan and the Middle East. 12.06.12 More
Russian-U.S. war games end in Colorado
The first joint anti-terror exercise, involving Russian and U.S. forces in Colorado, ended with the “neutralization” of a terrorist group, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Thursday. The entire operation took not more than seven minutes, according to Col Alexander Kucherenko.
“The main trophy included important documents and a large sum of money designed to pay for terrorist activities, which were removed from the chief of the terrorist gang,” he said. 31.05.12 More
World leaders gather at NATO Summit to commit to Afghan future
International leaders are meeting on Monday, May 21, at the NATO Summit in Chicago to discuss how to complete the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and how to show their continued commitment to the Afghan people beyond that date.
"The NATO-led ISAF mission has played a vital role in denying terrorists a safe haven in Afghanistan. Today we will discuss how to complete the transition of security responsibility to the Afghan Security Forces, a process we set in motion at our last NATO Summit in Lisbon in 2010," said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the start of the meeting. 21.05.12 More
Plans to strike Iran ready: US envoy to Israel
U.S. plans for a possible military strike on Iran are ready and the option is "fully available", the U.S. ambassador to Israel said, days before Tehran resumes talks with world powers which suspect it of seeking to develop nuclear arms.
Like Israel, the United States has said it considers military force a last resort to prevent Iran using its uranium enrichment to make a bomb. Iran insists its nuclear program is for purely civilian purposes.
"It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically and through the use of pressure than to use military force," Ambassador Dan Shapiro said in remarks about Iran aired by Israel's Army Radio today. 17.05.12 More
CSTO urges rapid finalization of Karabakh settlement principles
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) issued a declaration in Moscow, confirming adherence to peaceful settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict.CSTO urged for rapid finalization of basic principles of conflict settlement trough the mediation of OSCE Minsk Group, and based on the norms of international law. The document stressed non-use of force, territorial integrity and people’s right for self-determination as the main principles to be observed. 16.05.12 More
NATO to conduct mine clearing drills off Estonia coast
NATO will begin its Open Spirit 2012 mine clearing exercises in Estonia’s territorial waters on Monday, the country’s defense authorities said.
The annual drills will brings together 19 ships from ten countries, including nine NATO member states – Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the United States, and Canada. Sweden will also join the drills. 15.05.12 More
Two NATO Soldiers Die in Afghanistan
Two NATO soldiers have died in two incidents in Afghanistan, the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan said on Wednesday.
One serviceman died "following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today," the Isaf said in a press release, while the other died as a result of a non-battle related injury in the east of the country on Tuesday.
The nationality of the soldiers has not been released. 25.04.12 More
New US spy service targets China and Iran
China and Iran are the high-priority targets for a new spy service created by the Pentagon. The Defense Clandestine Service is aimed at ramping up spying operations overseas, and suggests a shift in national threat assessment.
The plan approved by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week will see hundreds of case officers working alongside the CIA.
The military and civilian spy agencies will increasingly focus on similar threats. 24.04.12 More
EU-US anti-terror data-sharing deal approved
A new agreement on the transfer of EU air passengers' personal data to the US authorities was approved by the European Parliament on Thursday. The deal sets legal conditions and covers issues such as storage periods, use, data protection safeguards and administrative and judicial redress. The agreement will replace a provisional deal in place since 2007.
The EU-US Passenger Name Record (PNR) agreement was adopted with 409 votes in favour, 226 against and 33 abstentions. A significant minority of MEPs voted against the deal due to concerns over data protection safeguards. A proposal to refer the agreement to the European Court of Justice was rejected by MEPs. 19.04.12 More
citizens for years
The US government has granted permission to its counter-terrorism officials to stretch out how long they can retain information about citizens, even if those citizens aren't tied to terrorism.
The new guidelines were agreed Tuesday last week, according to The Washington Post.
The changes allow the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)—the intelligence community’s clearinghouse for terrorism data—to hold, search and retrieve information for up to five years. 27.03.12 More
Ex-KGB chief wins first round of South Ossetia poll
Leonid Tibilov, a former head of the KGB in Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia beat the other three candidates in the president elections Sunday.
In the region’s previous attempt to select a leader, an opposition candidate won against the Kremlinfavorite. That election was cancelled. This time, all four candidates were palatable to Moscow. But there still lay surprises in waiting for Russia, which has placed the region under military occupation since the 2008 war. 26.03.12 More
Afghan soldier kills two NATO soldiers
An Afghan soldier opened fire on NATO troops in the south of the country on Monday morning, killing two soldiers, local media reported. The incident occurred at a military base in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.
“The gunman was shot and killed,” Al Jazeera reported, quoting NATO spokesman Major Jason Waggoner. He declined to provide further details.Twenty soldiers from coalition forces in Afghanistan have been killed by Taliban sympathisers in the Afghan National Army and police since 2002. 26.03.12
Europe launches third robot freighter to space station
An automated craft laden with supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) headed into space on Friday in the heaviest launch ever undertaken by Europe.
The 20-ton vessel, named after 20th-century Italian physicist, Edoardo Amaldi, blasted off atop a heavyweight version of the Ariane 5 launcher at 01:34 a.m. (0434 GMT) from the launchpad in French Guiana.
“Mission accomplished,” Jean-Yves Gall, the head of Arianespace satellite launch operator, said shortly after lift-off. 23.03.12 More
Norwegian military plane goes missing during exercise mission
A Norwegian military transport plane with five people aboard went missing Thursday during an exercise and was feared to have crashed in bad weather in a mountainous area in northern Sweden, officials said.
The C-130 was heading from Evenes, on Norway’s Arctic coast, to the Swedish city of Kiruna when it disappeared from radar screens just before 3 p.m. (1400 GMT), rescue coordinators said.
“We have to assume that we are looking for a plane that has crashed,” Norwegian military spokesman John Espen Lien told The Associated Press. 16.03.12 More
Think tank names Lockheed Martin world’s largest arms producer
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent international institute researching into conflicts, arms control and disarmament, named U.S. Lockheed Martin the biggest arms vendor in 2010, with sales totalling $35.7 billion.
Only three companies in the top ten of the SIPRI Yearbook 2012, based on the 2010 data, are not from the United States - U.K. BAE Systems (2nd, with sales of $32.9 billion), Europe’s EADS (7th, with sales of $16.4 billion) and Italy’s Finmeccanica (8th, with sales of $14.4 billion). 27.02.12 More
First NATO Military Delegation visit to China
A NATO military delegation, lead by LtGen. Jürgen Bornemann, Director General of the International Military Staff, will visit the People’s Republic of China from 12-16 February 2012.
This is the first time a NATO military delegation is invited by the Chinese authorities to visit their country, and follows on to an earlier visit by a Chinese military delegation to NATO Headquarters in June 2010. 10.02.12 More
US has 320 Tomahawk missiles in Gulf and Arabian Sea
The US naval forces in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea has over 320 Tomahawk missiles, capable of hitting any target in Iran, Interfax reports.
The US Fifth Fleet has two groups of aircraft carriers headed by aircraft carriers Abraham Lincoln and Carl Winson. The US naval forces in the region include two aircraft carriers, two cruisers with 26 cruise missiles each, four destroyers with 8-56 missiles each, two submarines Annapolis with 12 missiles and Georgia with 154 Tomahawks. 09.02.12 More
NATO to transit equipment from Afghanistan via Russia
NATO forces are to transport millions of dollars’ worth of military equipment through Russia once they leave Afghanistan, a leading Russian newspaper reported on Friday, February 3.
Talks between NATO and the Russian government for a transportation route running through the Ural Mountains city of Ulyanovsk are in their “final stages,” and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will approve the route in the near future, the Kommersant newspaper reported, citing Russian Foreign Ministry officials. 03.02.12 More
US nuclear reactor loses power, venting steam
Associated Press- A nuclear reactor at a northern Illinois plant shut down Monday after losing power, and steam was being vented to reduce pressure, according to officials from Exelon Nuclear and federal regulators.
Unit 2 at Byron Generating Station, about 95 miles (153 kilometers) northwest of Chicago, shut down at 10:18 a.m., after losing power, Exelon officials said. Diesel generators began supplying power to the plant, and operators began releasing steam to cool the reactor, but from the part of the plant where turbines are producing electricity, not from within the nuclear reactor itself, officials said. 31.01.12 More
U.S., Russia, Norway in joint naval drills
U.S., Russian and Norwegian naval forces are holding joint firing exercises in the Norwegian Sea, a Russian Navy official said on Wednesday.
The Northern Eagle 2012 trilateral naval exercises for Russia, Norway and the U.S. began on Tuesday, 21 August, in the Norwegian Sea.
The U.S. Navy's USS Farragut guided missile destroyer, Russia's Admiral Chabanenko Udaloy II class destroyer, and Norway's MS Nordkapp frigate are set to "perform firing exercises at an above-surface target" later on Wednesday. 23.08.12 More
NASA rover Curiosity makes historic Mars landing
NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity performed a daredevil descent through pink Martian skies late on Sunday to clinch an historic landing inside an ancient crater, ready to search for signs the Red Planet may once have harbored key ingredients for life.
Mission controllers burst into applause and cheers as they received signals confirming that the car-sized rover had survived a perilous seven-minute descent NASA called the most elaborate and difficult feat in the annals of robotic spaceflight. 06.08.12 More
F-16 fighter jet splash down in Pacific near Kurils
An American F-16 fighter jet went down in a Russian exclusive economic zone near the Kuril Islands on Sunday. The pilot successfully ejected before the jet plummeted into the waters below.
“The Kamchatsky territorial naval rescue center reported at 8:30 am local time (8:30 pm GMT) that an aircraft was in distress over the Pacific Ocean near the northern Kurils,” Andrey Orlov, a spokesman for the Russian Border Guard Service in the Far East said. Later on it turned out to be an American F-16. 23.07.12 More
Ships of 20 states to hold exercises in Mideast waterways in September
In a move to bolster military strength against Iran, 20 nations will stage an anti-mining exercise in Mideast waterways.
Defense Department press Secretary George Little said the large minesweeping exercise Sept. 16-27 is a defensive drill and is "not ... aimed to deliver a message to Iran."
But Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the route for one-fifth of the world's oil, in retaliation for international sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program. 18.07.12 More
Syria Defense Minister Gen. Dawoud Rajiha reportedly killed in explosion in Damascus
An explosion inside the Syrian national security headquarters in Damascus targeted ministers from President Bashar Assad's regime who were meeting with defense officials on Wednesday, reportedly leaving some senior officials dead and wounded.
Syrian TV reported that Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Dawoud Rajiha was killed in the explosion. His death could not be independently confirmed, but State TV is a mouthpiece for the Assad regime.
State TV reported that Assef Shawkat, Sryia's Deputy Chief of Staff and Assad's own brother-in-law, was also killed in the explosion. Other ministers and military officials were seriously injured in the explosion, according to the state-run channel. 18.07.12 More
U.S. security companies attacked by malicious files
Researchers have identified an ongoing series of attacks, possibly emanating from China, that are targeting a number of high-profile organizations, including SCADA security companies, universities and defense contractors.
According to a post on Slashdot.org, the attacks are using highly customized malicious files to entice targeted users into opening them and starting the compromise. The attack campaign is using a series of hacked servers as command-and-control points and researchers say that the tactics and tools used by the attackers indicates that they may be located in China. 14.06.12 More
OSCE to follow Russian military exercise closely
OSCE is to keep an eye on a massive Russian military exercise in the Caucasus planned for September.
Eamon Gilmour, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, said this during a visit to Georgia. After a meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, Gilmour said that any kind of military maneuver is subject of concern. He also says that cooperation among countries is the basis of good relations, especially for neighbors.
Gilmour says the OSCE will keep an eye on the exercises and review it with appropriate parties. Russia from time to time holds large scale military exercises in the North Caucasus, but this year’s exercise is larger than before and will take place inside Georgia’s breakaway regions. 13.06.12 More
US State Secretary Hilary Clinton to visit South Caucasus
On June 4 US State Secretary Hilary Clinton will visit Armenia.
"The secretary will travel to the Caucasus from June 4th to 7th. In all these countries, she will discuss important issues of regional security, democracy, economic development and counterterrorism," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. 29.05.12 More
Ireland backs EU treaty, although 1/3 undecided
Ireland remains on course to back Europe's new fiscal treaty in a referendum this month, a poll showed on Thursday, May 17, although with just two weeks to go until polling more than a third of voters have yet to make up their minds, Reuters reported.
Ireland will hold what is likely to be the only popular vote on the so-called "fiscal compact" on May 31. The country's finance minister warned on Wednesday that it would be left with "less than full membership" of the euro zone if voters reject the treaty. 17.05.12 More
Ireland has its own unique story of the impossible made possible – OSCE head
In the run-up to the conference in Dublin “Shared Future: Building and Sustaining Peace, the Northern Ireland case study” that will take place on Friday, 27 April, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, issued an address.
The text is as follows:
‘If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner’
These words were spoken, with characteristic eloquence, by former South African President Nelson Mandela. Through a gradual process of dialogue and trust-building in the early 1990s, President Mandela and others brought about what was previously thought impossible: political settlement and reconciliation. 27.04.12 More
Hungary leaves Nabucco Gas Project
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Mol Nyrt. (MOL), the country’s largest company by market capitalization, is leaving the 7.9 billion-euro ($10.4 billion) Nabucco natural gas pipeline project to ship Caspian fuel to Europe.
“I’m not an expert on the details, but what I have seen is that even the Hungarian company, Mol, is leaving the whole project,” Orban told reporters in Brussels today, adding that “Nabucco is in trouble.” There are “many uncertainties around the Nabucco project that would be hard to ignore,” Mol said in an e-mail today, without confirming or denying that it had abandoned the project. 24.04.12 More
US helicopter crashes in Afghanistan -US official
A US Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southwestern Afghanistan on Thursday with four people believed to be on board, likely American soldiers, a US defense official told AFP.
"We're assuming they're American," said the official, adding he could not confirm whether those on board had been killed or wounded in the incident. The official added that poor weather had likely been a factor, but cautioned that nothing was being ruled out. "The crash site is secured; the cause is under investigation. Additional information will be released as appropriate," NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement. 20.04.12 More
Russia successfully puts U.S. satellite into orbit
Russia's Proton-M carrier rocket successfully put a U.S. telecoms satellite into orbit on Monday, March 26 space officials said. The Intelsat-22 separated from Proton’s Briz-M booster "normally," a spokesman for the Russian space agency Roscosmos told RIA Novosti.
The Proton-M rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan on Sunday afternoon, in a launch brokered by International Launch Services Inc. (ILS), a joint U.S.-Russian enterprise. 26.03.12 More
Hundreds die: Pentagon secret war game runs Israeli strike on Iran
An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites may quickly spiral out of control and result in a large regional war, a Pentagon war game predicts. American casualties would be counted in hundreds at least.
The two-week game held by Central Command called Internal Look played on a scenario in which Israel carried out an air strike on Iranian facilities. Retaliation for this act targets both the Jewish state and the American forces in the region since, they presume, Iranians would hold them complicit in the attack. 20.03.12 More
“Military Balance 2012” is published: regional conflicts are included
London international institute of strategic researches published the report “Military Balance 2012”. The report can be found on the official web-site of the institute.
“This year’s Military Balance sees further improvements to the book’s presentation, information and assessments. The land data sections have been revised to improve understanding of the combined-arms capabilities of modern land forces and the book carries extra detail on armies’ combat support, such as engineering assets. We analyse policy and defense economics questions for the countries with the largest defense budgets in greater detail than before. For many nations, the IISS this year includes brief textual summaries of countries’ military capabilities to help inform readers’ understanding of the numerical data. Also for the first time, the book has brief assessments of individual states’ cyber capacities, including relevant organisations and assessed capabilities. 09.03.12 More
NATO Approves 'Smart Defense'
The NATO defense ministers approved on Friday the Smart Defense plan consisting of the projects that aim to “build greater security with fewer resources but more coordination and coherence.”
The initiatives, proposed by the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, include building defense capabilities, based on cutting-edge technology – intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) as well as logistics and training. 03.02.12 More
NATO helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan kills 6 international troops
A NATO helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing six members of the international military force, the U.S.-led coalition said.
The coalition said in a release early Friday morning that there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash in southern Afghanistan.The cause of the crash is still being investigated. The coalition did not disclose the nationalities of those killed.
The helicopter crash occurred on the same day seven civilians were killed outside a crowded gate at Kandahar Air Field, a sprawling base for U.S. and NATO operations, after a suicide attacker set off a vehicle laden with explosives. The Taliban claimed responsibility, claiming they were targeting a NATO convoy. 20.01.12 More
Israeli-US war games postponed to avoid aggravating mounting tensions with Iran
The Israeli and U.S. militaries have postponed large-scale war games, in part to avoid aggravating mounting tensions between the international community and Iran over its disputed nuclear program, Israeli defense officials said Monday.
The missile defense exercise, dubbed “Austere Challenge 12,” was scheduled for April to improve defense systems and cooperation between U.S. and Israeli forces. The officials said the drill would be rescheduled for the second half of 2012.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the decision, which they said was taken on Sunday. They offered no other reasons for the deferral.
Thousands of American and Israeli soldiers were to take part in the exercise, which was designed to test multiple Israeli and U.S. air defense systems against incoming missiles and rockets from places as far away as Iran. 16.01.12 More
Turkey, US planning Syria no-fly zone, says Russian secretary
Nato and Gulf countries are trying to go from indirect meddling in Syria's internal affairs to a direct military intervention, Russia’s National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Thursday.
According to Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, Patrushev said Turkey and the United States were planning to create a no-fly zone in Syria to secure a base for the country’s opposition.
According to Patrushev, Turkey, which had "excellent" relations with Syria until recently, is vying for influence in the Middle East with Iran. 13.01.12 More
Korean media calls leader’s son Kim Jong-un 'great successor'
North Korea’s state news agency KCNA has called the late leader Kim Jong-il’s son, Jong-un, a “great successor.”
The “dear leader,” who has led the secretive nuclear-armed state since 1994, died aged 69 while traveling on his train on Saturday.
He suffered a heart attack due to “physical and mental over-work,” state television announced.
KCNA urged the communist nation to rally behind the younger Kim, who is believed to have been groomed to take over power and was appointed a general last year. 19.12.11 More
U.S. War in Iraq Declared Officially Over
The United States military officially declared an end to its mission in Iraq on Thursday even as violence continues to plague the country and the Muslim world remains distrustful of American power.
In a fortified concrete courtyard at the airport in Baghdad, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta thanked the more than one million American service members who have served in Iraq for “the remarkable progress” made over the past nine years but acknowledged the severe challenges that face the struggling democracy.
“Let me be clear: Iraq will be tested in the days ahead — by terrorism, and by those who would seek to divide, by economic and social issues, by the demands of democracy itself,” Mr. Panetta said. “Challenges remain, but the U.S. will be there to stand by the Iraqi people as they navigate those challenges to build a stronger and more prosperous nation.” 15.12.11 More
4 dead as helicopters crash on Washington base
Two Army helicopters crashed Monday, December 12 night at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in an accident that killed four soldiers, a military spokesman said late Monday.
The two-seat reconnaissance choppers crashed after 8 pm in the southwest training area of the sprawling base, according to the Army. The victims were not immediately identified, even by unit, pending notification of relatives. It was not immediately clear whether the aircraft collided or crashed separately.
"We don't have details on what actually occurred," base spokesman J.C. Mathews said. "That will be part of the investigation." 13.12.11 More