Security news

UNAMA reports 29% rise in civilian casualties in Afghanistan in first quarter of 2021

By Gabriel Dominguez 14 April 2021
Civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose by 29% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2020, according to a 14 April report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).  In its latest ‘Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict’ report, the UN mission said it documented 1,783 civilian casualties (573 killed and 1,210 injured), adding that of particular concern is the 37% rise in the number of women killed and injured, as well as a 23% increase in child casualties.  Afghan security officials ins...

Russian Caspian Flotilla amphibious vessels transfer to Black Sea

By Bruce Jones 09 April 2021
Russian threat capabilities against Ukraine were added to on 7 April when Moscow’s Ministry of Defence announced that more than 10 amphibious landing and artillery ships are to be transferred from the Caspian Flotilla to the Black Sea Fleet headqua...

Wings over Mandalay: Myanmar's junta deploy Chinese-made CH-3A tactical UAVs to observe protest movements

By Kelvin Wong 08 April 2021
Kelvin Wong, unmanned systems editor has confirmed the use of the Chinese-made CH-3A tactical UAV in Myanmar. The latest open-source intelligence from Janes follows. Key pointsMyanmar’s military junta has begun to use its unmanned aerial vehicles to support its operations against protest movements.A rare sighting of the Chinese-made CH-3A tactical UAV over Mandalay has enabled Janes to confirm that it is in operational use in Myanmar following years of speculation.  Popular unrest in central Myanmar has been steadily increasing in the two month...

Analysis: The South Sudanese armed forces' struggle for unity

By Matthew Alderton 30 March 2021
Reports from the UN Secretary General to the UN Security Council and the EU’s High Representative to South Sudan, released in February and March respectively, show there is a long way to go to achieve the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) that was signed on 12 September 2018.  The deal, signed in Addis Ababa between President Salva Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army in Government (SPLM/A-IG) and Riek Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army in Oppositi...

Finnish public urged to boost domestic and business internet security

By Charles Forrester 07 April 2021
The Finnish security and intelligence service (Suojelupoliisi: SUPO) made a rare appeal to the public to bolster cyber-security efforts on 10 March. The organisation had noted an increase in cyber espionage utilising Finnish infrastructure to give...

Saudi Arabia considers national security implications of peak oil

By Jamie Ingram 26 March 2021
A ballistic missile fired by Yemen-based Ansar Allah militants (more commonly referred to as the Houthis) hit an area outside a residential compound for workers of the state-controlled oil company Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Eastern Province, on the evening of 7 March. Saudi Arabia’s defence systems downed the missile, with no casualties reported. On the same day, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack on the company’s storage tanks at nearby Ras Tanura was foiled. Energy assets across Saudi Arabia, most notably the Saudi Aramco-owned Abqaiq pr...

20 PLA aircraft enter Taiwan's ADIZ after Taipei and Washington sign coast guard co-operation agreement

By Gabriel Dominguez 29 March 2021
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) accused 20 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft of entering the island’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) on 26 March, a day after Washington and Taipei signed a memorandum of understandi...

Ethiopian PM admits Eritrean presence in Tigray

By Jeremy Binnie 24 March 2021
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has admitted for the first time that Eritrean troops are operating in his country’s Tigray region.  He told the parliament on 23 March that Ethiopia was indebted to Eritrea for providing a refuge to soldiers who...

Japan ‘resolved' to enhance its defence capabilities and deepen alliance with US

By Gabriel Dominguez & Kosuke Takahashi 16 March 2021
Japan announced on 16 March that it is “resolved” to enhance its national defence capabilities and further strengthen its alliance with the United States amid what both countries described as “political, economic, military, and technological challenges” posed by China to both their alliance and the international community.  The announcement was part of a joint statement issued by Washington and Tokyo following the ‘2+2’ US-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting held that same day between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Secret...

Deadly threats persist: deaths from terrorist activity up 20%, says Janes

09 March 2021
2020 full-year terrorism figures from Janes highlight 2,543 more deaths in 2020 from terrorist activity than in 2019 – despite operational activity slowing down.  LONDON (9 March) – Data from the 2020 Global Attack Index by Janes, spanning the entirety of 2020, demonstrates a total of 17,122 non-militant deaths in 2020 resulting from attacks by non-state armed groups (NSAG), a 17.4% increase from 2019.  Despite this, information from the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence recorded a 3.7% decrease in attacks – with 13,310...

Oman launches offset project with University of Arizona

By Charles Forrester 05 March 2021
The Omani government has signed an agreement with the University of Arizona’s Eller Executive Education to deliver training to Omani nationals as part of an offset agreement with US armoured vehicle manufacturer Lenco Armored Vehicles.  Under the agreement, Eller Executive Education will work to create a centre at Oman’s Institute of Public Administration (IPA) to train Omani nationals to become leaders in the country’s civil service. Aims for the project include: training 25 Omani instructors to teach future courses at the IPA; training for...

Biden likely to seek more nuanced approach to US-Mexican border security

By Peter Chalk 23 February 2021
The administration of US President Joe Biden has inherited a slew of national security priorities resulting from the policies of the previous presidency of Donald Trump. One that lies to the immediate south of the United States is an intensifying cycle of illicit activity across the Mexico-US border that is defined by two mutually reinforcing threats: the northern flow of narcotics to feed American demand for drugs, and the southwards trafficking of weapons that is helping to fuel high levels of violence between competing cartels seeking to e...

French agency reports exploits by hackers of Centreon software

By Christopher Hawkins 02 March 2021
In a report released on 15 February, France’s information security agency, the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d'information: ANSSI), revealed that hackers had breached networks...

NATO deploys first focused maritime operation of 2021

By Dr. Lee Willett 01 March 2021
Operation ‘Sea Guardian’ (OSG), NATO’s Mediterranean-based maritime security operation, carried out its first focused operation (FOCOP) for 2021 in the Alboran Sea. The February FOCOPS was led by the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Action Boats (Buques de...

Capability-driven approach to push EU technological development

By Brooks Tigner 24 February 2021
The EU is set to expand its support for technological cross-fertilisation between the civil, space, and defence sectors, and will promote its plan with new policies, money, standards, and networking schemes. Pushing a capability-driven approach (CD...

Iran suspends implementation of Additional Protocol, limits inspections of its nuclear programme

By Srishti Punja 23 February 2021
On 23 February Iran suspended the implementation of the Additional Protocol (AP) and all supplementary inspection provisions granted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) beyond the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA), as mandated b...

Afghanistan sees rise in civilian casualties following start of peace talks, says UN

By Gabriel Dominguez 23 February 2021
The number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan dropped by 15% in 2020 compared to the previous year but the Central Asian country has seen a surge in the number of dead and injured since the start of peace negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban in September 2020, according to a United Nations report.  “The overall number of civilian casualties in 2020 of 8,820 (3,035 killed and 5,785 inured) fell below 10,000 for the first time since 2013. … While the reduced numbers are welcome, documentation shows that the lower levels of overall harm...

French CSG brings ‘plug-and-fight' carrier capability to NATO Mediterranean ASW exercise

By Dr. Lee Willett 22 February 2021
NATO’s Mediterranean-based anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise ‘Dynamic Manta’ is being bolstered this year by the rare presence of a carrier strike group (CSG).  The French Navy’s carrier strike group led by the aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (pictured) will join ‘Dynamic Manta’ as it transits the exercise area during a pre-deployment work up. (USN)    Hosted by NATO’s Maritime Command (MARCOM), ‘Dynamic Manta’ is taking place off Sicily between 22 February and 5 March. The French Navy’s   Charles de Gaulle  CSG is...

India, China complete troop withdrawal from parts of disputed LoAC

By Rahul Bedi 22 February 2021
The Indian and Chinese armies have completed their agreed withdrawal of troops from a bitterly contested area along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in the Himalayas where they had been locked in a standoff since May 2020.  “The smooth disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area was a significant step forward that provided a good basis for the resolution of other remaining issues along the LoAC,” said the Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) in a 21 February statement.  Indian soldiers near the Zojila...

Role of Russian FSO expands beyond presidential protection

By Mark Galeotti 15 February 2021
The Federal Protection Service (Federalnaya Sluzhba Okhrany: FSO) traces its history back to the Ninth Directorate of the former Soviet Committee for State Security (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti: KGB). In 1991, it became the Soviet Presidential Security Directorate, then later in 1991 the Main Security Directorate of the Russian Federation, and in 1996, it became the FSO. Despite the numerous name changes, relatively few practical changes to the service have taken place.  The service’s real challenges were initially political, relatin...
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