• Islamic State killing of US servicemen in Syria likely to influence implementation of president’s withdrawal decision

    Event A suicide improvised explosive device (IED) attack on 16 January killed or wounded a total of five US service personnel in the Syrian town of Manbij in northern Aleppo province, an area under the control of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The attack was claimed by the Islamic

  • Syrian border ‘safe zone’ receives mixed reception

    Ankara has embraced the proposed establishment of a 32 km-deep ‘safe zone’ inside northeast Syria, but other major actors are opposed to an expanded Turkish military presence in the country. US President Donald Trump mentioned a safe zone in a 13 January tweet in which he also

  • US Army seeks emerging technologies for urban combat

    The US Army is preparing to test out a host of new technologies in experiments throughout the country with an eye towards preparing for conflicts in dense urban terrain. In a recent notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the service asked industry and academia to send in

  • German defence exports fall following end to Saudi exports

    The value of German defence goods exported by the country in 2018 was almost 23% lower year-on-year, according to information provided to Alliance ’90/Green party Bundestag member Omid Nouripour by its Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The response to Nouripour’s enquiry,

  • Indications that Guinean president plans third-term bid in 2020 increase risk of violent opposition protests nationwide

    Event A group of leading opposition politicians in Guinea announced on 15 January that they are planning to form a united front to oppose possible plans by President Alpha Condé to seek a third term in late 2020. Former prime ministers Lansana Kouyaté and Sidya Touré – who

  • Indiscriminate detention of Canadians in China highly unlikely; state employees and pro-rights organisations at greatest risk

    Event Yesterday (17 January) Canada lodged an official protest with the Chinese ambassador against the interrogation of Michael Kovrig. Kovrig, a Canadian national who was working for International Crisis Group, a non-governmental organisation focused on human rights and conflict resolution, while

  • Surface Navy 2019: Combining gear bearing fails on LCS Detroit

    Combining gear equipment in another Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) propulsion plant needs to be repaired, according to US Navy (USN) and LCS programme officials familiar with the damage. “USS Detroit [LCS 7] experienced a bearing failure on its starboard combining gear,” USN

  • US Air Force concerned about breaking minimum amount of fighter aircraft

    Key Points A top US Air Force official is concerned the service could break a congressionally mandated minimum level of fighter jets The service faces looming aircraft retirement A top US Air Force (USAF) official is concerned the service could break a congressionally mandated minimum number of

  • US Air Force sets official KC-46A delivery date

    The US Air Force (USAF) will officially accept its first Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tanker on 25 January during a ceremony at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. McConnell Air Force Base is leading integration and operations for the service’s next-generation tankers. Air Mobility

  • VBIED attack on Colombian police academy indicates likely renewed intent and capability of ELN to target capital

    Key Points A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) was detonated inside a police academy in southwest Bogotá, killing at least 21 people. It is likely that the National Liberation Army (ELN) carried out the attack to pressure the government into restarting peace negotiations.

  • Trump’s Missile Defense Review holds status quo, but will study space-based interceptors

    Key Points The Trump adminstration released its long-awaited Missile Defense Review The Pentagon will consider using the F-35 to aid or conduct intercepts The Trump administration on 17 January unveiled its long-delayed Missile Defense Review (MDR), which said the Pentagon will study space-based

  • Chile advances reforms to military service and funding

    Key Points Chile is changing its terms of military service to try to reduce personnel costs An expected move to an all-volunteer force did not materialise An extension to the duration for military service for officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in Chile, along with an increase in the

  • Surface Navy 2019: Fleet Forces commander says waiver days are over

    At a time when the US Navy is striving to resuscitate its readiness levels in the wake of two fatal collisions, Fleet Forces Commander Admiral Christopher Grady said the service is “out of the waiver business”. During a 17 January keynote address at the Surface Navy Association’s

  • Surface Navy 2019: USN implements majority of post-collision recommendations

    The US Navy (USN) has implemented most of the recommendations made in the wake of 2017 collisions between US warships and commercial vessels, Admiral Bill Moran, US Vice Chief of Naval Operations, said during a media briefing on 15 January at the Surface Navy 2019 symposium in Arlington, Virginia.

  • Piracy numbers in Asia fall to 12-year low; concerns over crew abductions remain

    Key Points The maritime crime situation in Asia has improved significantly over 2018 However, mariners have been advised to maintain vigilance in the Sulu and Celebes seas, and off Eastern Sabah The number of maritime piracy, and sea robbery incidences in Asia fell to a 12-year low in 2018, but

  • Surface Navy 2019: USMC says it needs to slash global commitments

    At a time when question marks abound over the future of US troop levels around the globe, the US Marine Corps (USMC) said that it must reduce its operational deployments to better train for the high-end fight. Lieutenant General Brian Beaudreault, the USMC’s deputy commandant for plans,

  • US Army set to cut or curtail 186 programmes

    The US Army has decided to cancel or curtail almost 186 projects to pay for modernisation priorities and readiness, after examining programmes in ‘night court’, according to the service’s outgoing chief of staff, General Mark Milley. At a 16 January Association of the US Army

  • Bundeswehr reactivates ammunition, equipment depots

    The Bundeswehr will reopen or cancel the closure of eight ammunition and equipment depots, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen has decided, her ministry's website announced on 15 January. The depots will be reactivated step by step in 2020–31 for an estimated cost of EUR200 million

  • Number of PLA Navy carrier pilot recruits may double

    Almost twice as many potential carrier aircraft pilot recruits have passed the People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF) initial selection test during the 2019 annual recruitment campaign compared with the previous year, according to information posted on the PLAN’s website on 13

  • First UK P-8 crews arrive in US to start training

    Thirty eight UK Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel have arrived in the US to begin operational conversion training to operate Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, the service announced on 15 January. Aircrew and maintainers from 120 Squadron travelled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to

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