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Salafist danger spawns pan-Shiite solidarity

Shiite Muslims are spread around the world, from the Indian subcontinent to the Arabian Peninsula and the Mediterranean region. They belong to various nationalities, have diverse cultures and sometimes even have different religious doctrines. Historically, they have never been under a single government nor have they enjoyed a single cohesive identity. But the recent upsurge of anti-Shiite Salafist currents has ... Read More »

New Polish PM Unveils Plans To Hike Defense Spending

Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz has unveiled plans to increase defense spending from 1.95 percent to 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2016. The funds will be used to acquire new weapons and military equipment, Kopacz said in her inaugural speech at the Polish parliament Wednesday. “My government will provide security for Poland and Poles. To ... Read More »

New NATO chief: better ties with Russia possible

NATO’s new secretary-general struck a more conciliatory tone Wednesday on Russia, saying there’s a chance now for improved relations between Moscow and the West. “We see opportunity in the cease-fire, which has now been established in the eastern part of Ukraine, but we also see violations of the cease-fire and that it’s a fragile situation,” Jens Stoltenberg said. On his ... Read More »

Fighting intensifies in Ukraine as pro-Russian rebels move on Donetsk airport

Fighting intensified in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday despite a fragile cease-fire, as pro-Russian rebels appeared to be close to capturing the strategically important Donetsk airport. The fighting was some of the worst since a Sept. 5 truce that calmed the conflict but did not end the hostilities, and city authorities said that at least nine civilians died in the day’s ... Read More »

Czech Republic launches air defence radar tender

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) launched international tender on 30 September for 3D mobile air defence radar (MADR) systems worth up to CZK1.7 billion (USD70 million). The MoD would like to procure at least five systems by the end of 2017 to replace Russian-designed P-37 (1RL139) ‘Bar Lock’ 2D air defence radar systems currently in service with the Army ... Read More »

Satellite Shows North Korea Has Upgraded Launch Station

Recent commercial satellite imagery indicates that North Korea has completed a yearlong project to upgrade its main satellite launching station, which is widely believed to be a test site for its intercontinental ballistic missile program, a United States research institute said on Wednesday. Construction has been underway at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri in northwestern North Korea since ... Read More »

(2nd LD) U.S. considering sending THAAD battery to S. Korea: deputy defense secretary

The United States is considering deploying a THAAD missile defense battery to South Korea to better cope with threats from North Korea, a top American defense official confirmed Tuesday. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work also said that Washington and Seoul are in talks about the possible deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system. “As you said, ... Read More »

Interview – Pentagon upbeat on U.S.-India bid to deepen defense ties

A top Pentagon official said on Tuesday he had “high expectations” for a joint U.S.-Indian effort to deepen defense ties, but it could take a while to reach agreement on specific weapons to develop or produce together. “Prime Minister Modi is very aware of the initiative. His staff is clearly motivated at every level to make it a success and ... Read More »

Indian Leader Modi Moves Closer to U.S. as Differences Persist

The U.S. and India agreed to forge closer defense and security ties at a White House meeting between President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the talks didn’t produce a breakthrough on disagreements that have hobbled ties in recent years. Officials said they hoped Mr. Modi’s visit served to shrug off inertia and move beyond the shadow ... Read More »

India reacts cautiously to PLAN submarine visit to Sri Lanka

India has reacted cautiously to the docking of a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) submarine in Sri Lanka from 7-14 September. The Type 039 (Song)-class boat, on long-range deployment to escort PLAN warships conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, docked at the Colombo International Container Terminal, which China funded and helped to build. “We continuously monitor them [the ... Read More »

Senator: POV moving company’s problems linger

The chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee wants military officials to consider dumping a defense contractor responsible for moving troops’ personal vehicles to and from overseas bases when they move on reassignment orders, citing significant delays and problems with the process. In a letter to the chief of U.S. Transportation Command, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she is dismayed by ... Read More »

Rep. Paul Ryan: Stay ‘Medium’ in Working With Obama on Fiscal Deal

Go big or go home? Not so fast, says a key US House lawmaker. He wants, as former Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn once advised, to just “stay medium” in pursuit of a sequester-addressing fiscal deal. Congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama can strike the kind of grand budget pact to void sequestration, but he wants another “medium” deal, says ... Read More »

Liberal doves run as war hawks

Democrat Kay Hagan didn’t mince words about the Iraq War during her 2008 Senate campaign against Republican Elizabeth Dole. “We need to get out of Iraq in a responsible way,” Hagan declared in May of that year. “We need to elect leaders who don’t invade countries without planning and stay there without an end.” Hagan is striking a different chord ... Read More »

America’s Longest War Could Get Even Longer

Senior Afghan and Pakistani officials, as well as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are urging Barack Obama’s administration to reconsider withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, pointing to the chaos and violence in Iraq and warning that Afghanistan could suffer a similar fate if all the Americans go home by 2016, as planned. The United States and the new Afghan government ... Read More »