Security news

Antarctic infrastructure upgrades enable climate change surveillance

By Elizabeth Buchanan 01 July 2021
The Australian Antarctic Program announced on 28 June that it would undertake winter data collection to inform “the geotechnical and engineering design, delivery and construction methodology of the Davis Aerodrome project”, a plan to construct the first permanent paved runway in Antarctica. According to the statement, the mission had been approved under an Antarctic Treaty Environment Protection permit to inform a ‘Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation'.   The Australian announcement closely followed the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Tr...

UN commission remains split on drug control

By Dave Bewley-Taylor 30 June 2021
The 64th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the central policy-making body for the UN drug control system, took place on 12–19 April 2021. The session was conducted as a hybrid meeting with both online and in-person attendees in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although commemoration of the 60th and 50th anniversaries of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances respectively generated more than the usual levels of support for the UN drug control treaties, increasingly divergent vie...

Russian Border Guard Patrol ship shows new SAM system

By Tony Roper 25 June 2021
Images have emerged online of the Russian Border Guard Project 22460 Rubin-class patrol boat   Rasul Gamzatov  (511) with a new fixed man-portable air-defence (MANPAD) surface-to-air missile system (SAM) installed behind its AK-63...

Russia announces new joint exercise in the Mediterranean Sea

By Bruce Jones 25 June 2021
The Russian Navy and the country's Aerospace Forces have launched a joint exercise in the eastern Mediterranean Sea where the UK's Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is currently located on deployment, Russian newspaper  Kommersant  report...

NATO leaders extend Article 5 mutual defence clause to space domain

By Brooks Tigner 17 June 2021
NATO leaders have thrown down the gauntlet to protect their newest operational domain, warning adversaries that any attacks against allied space assets that threaten the Euro-Atlantic region's security or prosperity will risk triggering Article 5, the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty's mutual defence clause.  At the press conference after NATO's Brussels summit on 14 June, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed the alliance's determination “to defend itself in space as effectively as we do in all other domains: land, sea, air, and cyber”. (NA...

New ASEAN cyber-security and information centre to be set up in Singapore

By Gabriel Dominguez 17 June 2021
A new ‘Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence' will be set up in Singapore to facilitate information sharing and capacity building among the defence establishments of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) a...

US transfers some Afghan MD 530F support to UAE

By Gareth Jennings 11 June 2021
The United States has part transferred support of Afghanistan's fleet of MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light attack and reconnaissance rotorcraft to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), ahead of the planned withdrawal of its forces from the country later in the year.   Washington is to transfer to the UAE some of the work needed to support the Afghanistan fleet of MD 530F helicopters. This is part of a wider move to provide ‘over-the-horizon' support to Kabul once US troops leave later in the year. (438th Air Expeditionary Wing...

Pentagon Budget 2022: US Space Force expanding M-Code GPS capability

By Carlo Munoz 07 June 2021
The US Space Force (USSF) is eyeing fiscal year (FY) 2022 as the window for service officials to make large strides in the development and integration of Military Code (M-Code)-enabled global positioning system (GPS) capabilities into fixed-wing and maritime surface warfare combatants.   Space force acquisition officials requested USD434.1 million for Military GPS User Equipment (MGUE) development, testing, and fielding as part of the service's FY 2022 budget request. The request represented a USD94 million increase over the service's FY 2021...

Sudan to renegotiate Russian naval base agreement

By Bruce Jones 04 June 2021
Re-evaluation is needed of the financial arrangements and leasing conditions for the planned Russian ‘Flamingo' naval base on the Red Sea coast of Sudan, Alexei Chepa, deputy chairman of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee, said on 2 J...

NATO leaders set to launch new ‘defence innovation accelerator' at summit

By Brooks Tigner 02 June 2021
NATO leaders will consider two controversial proposals during their 14 June Brussels summit: increasing the alliance's common funding and creating a ‘defence innovation accelerator' to rapidly develop and absorb emerging disruptive technologies (EDTs) into their militaries. The two agenda topics, among others, were decided by NATO foreign and defence ministers meeting in Brussels on 1 June.   Stoltenberg expects allied leaders to decide in principle on a new innovation accelerator at their 14 June Brussels summit. (NATO)  “We need to sharpen...

RN evaluates AI decision aids as part of ‘ASD/FS-21'

By Richard Scott 01 June 2021
Novel artificial intelligence (AI)-based tactical decision aids developed by Roke and CGI Defence in conjunction with the UK Defence Science and Research Laboratory (Dstl) have been demonstrated on two Royal Navy (RN) warships in an operational exp...

EU drafts tighter regulation of online disinformation

By Brooks Tigner 01 June 2021
Attempting to address advertising models that reward disinformation, the European Union is revising its policy on social media, online platforms, and other digital entities. A new European Commission (EC) draft guidance policy (COM 2021/262), unvei...

Biden's Africa policy set to focus on key hotspots

By Duncan Woodside 01 June 2021
Since assuming office on 20 January, US President Joe Biden has repeatedly underscored that the United States is returning to the forefront of multilateral diplomacy, reversing the global withdrawal under his predecessor, Donald Trump. Addressing the African Union Summit on 5 February, Biden promised to “rebuild partnerships around the world and re-engage” to confront destabilising issues ranging from the Covid-19 pandemic to the continent’s multiple conflicts.  One of Biden’s first acts in office was to sign an executive order overturning T...

States advance on agreeing international norms in cyber operations

By Aude Gery 20 May 2021
On 15 April 2021, the United States sanctioned several Russian entities for their involvement in the SolarWinds hack, a cyber-espionage operation that it attributed to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (Sluzhba vneshney razvedki: SVR). Washington denounced the attack on the supply chain and the undue burden on the private sector and invoked Russia’s past behaviour as an argument for strongly responding to the cyber operation. However, it is less clear why the US adopted sanctions for this particular cyber-espionage campaign, as many ot...

Biden says US-Taiwan coastguard co-operation deal will enable US to better respond to shared regional threats

By Gabriel Dominguez 20 May 2021
US President Joe Biden has said that the recently reached co-operation agreement between the US and Taiwanese coast guards will “help ensure” that the United States “is positioned to better respond to shared threats in the [Indo-Pacific] region and...

Russian Navy to restructure Project 955/955A Borey SSBN deployment

By Tony Roper 19 May 2021
Borey  (Project 955A)-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) fleet, according to local media reports.     USS   Seawolf  is pictured visiting Royal Navy base Clyde (Faslane) in Scotland in September 2020.  (Tony Roper)  Following Russia's recent ‘Umka 2021' military drills, which took place in March within the Arctic circle, a review is now under way to better place the SSBNs to counteract threats and deployments of NATO forces that operate in the North, Russian newspaper Ivestia reported on 11 Ma...

External dynamics hinder efforts to bring Syrian war to an end

By Jonathan Spyer 19 May 2021
Ten years after the Syrian civil war began in March 2011, President Bashar Assad has failed to unite Syria under his rule, or to return the situation in the country to its pre-war position of powerful and repressive authoritarian rule. Syria remains divided into three principal areas of control – the Damascus government, Kurdish territories, and Turkish-backed, opposition-controlled areas in the north-west and north-east – and is undermined by a variety of external powers and non-state actors that are themselves engaged in often overlapping...

Azeri troops seize lake on Armenian border

By Thomas Bullock 14 May 2021
On the morning of 12 May Azeri forces crossed the Azeri-Armenian border in the Sev Lake area, about 30 km northwest of the Lachin corridor that connects Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated during an emergen...

EU, NATO nations aim to carry military mobility to higher levels in Europe

By Brooks Tigner 12 May 2021
National governments, the EU, and NATO are considering how to expand their individual and joint military mobility (MM) efforts across Europe during the next decade, with a broad emphasis on speeding up procedures for transit movement across national borders.  The Dutch Ministry of Defence has worked with civil authorities to create three multimodal corridors of infrastructure for military movements across the Netherlands: road (photo of CV90 infantry fighting vehicles moving by highway), rail, and inland waterways. (Dutch MoD)  “We want a wel...

US Navy again accuses IRGCN of ‘unsafe' operations in the Strait of Hormuz

By Michael Fabey 11 May 2021
A number of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) fast in-shore attack craft (FIAC) conducted unsafe and unprofessional manoeuvres on 10 May and failed to exercise due regard for the safety of US forces, as required under internati...
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