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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 »

The Case Against Qatar

Behind a glittering mall near Doha’s city center sits the quiet restaurant where Hossam used to run his Syrian rebel brigade. At the battalion’s peak in 2012 and 2013, he had 13,000 men under his control near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor. “Part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), they are loyal to me,” he said over sweet tea ... Read More »

Indian company says it will build new Omani airbase

The Indian company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) announced on 18 September that it had been awarded a contract by the Omani Ministry of Defence to build the new airbase, but provided no further details. “We have been gradually establishing our credentials in the Middle East and, especially in Oman, as a construction organisation of calibre with the successful execution of ... Read More »

Kuwait, Fighting Dissent From Within, Revokes Citizenship

Moving to grind out political dissent at home while the world’s attention is focused on fighting militant extremists in Iraq and Syria, the government of Kuwait is increasingly wielding a penalty that was once rare here: revoking citizenship. The severity of the punishment, imposed for offenses that sometimes amount to little more than disagreeing with the government, has stoked bitterness ... Read More »

Israelis Rethink Life Along Gaza Border After War

The mortar shell hit the roof of the Tragerman family home in the last days of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Their cars were already packed to flee, but it was too late for their 4-year-old son Daniel who lay on the floor dead. Thousands fled Israel’s kibbutz communities during the 50-day conflict that turned the Gaza Strip and the ... Read More »

Italy’s Air Force Restructures Special Ops Brigade

Through a shake-up of its bases, the Italian Air Force is streamlining its special operations and rescue operations, trimming costs as new aircraft come into service, and reflecting what officials describe as a shift in the type of mission they are handling in the 21st century. On Sept. 22, the Air Force’s 1st Brigade for Special Operations moved into new ... Read More »

Spain to increase defence spending

Spain’s headline defence budget is set to rise in 2015, for first time in seven years, by 1% to EUR5.71 billion (USD7.2 billion). According to figures presented to parliament on 30 September, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will receive some EUR57 million in additional funding, although that compares favourably with spending at key ministries such as employment and development, which ... Read More »

Ukraine Forces Repel Two Fresh Assaults on Donetsk’s Airport

Ukrainian forces repelled two fresh assaults by pro-Russia rebels on the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk on Tuesday, a military spokesman said, as fighting for the strategic site showed no sign of ending despite a cease-fire signed nearly a month ago. European Union diplomats, meanwhile, decided to keep sanctions on Russia in place while the truce deal is ... Read More »

Bulgaria buys more Textron Commando 4x4s

Bulgaria has ordered additional Textron Systems Commando Select 4×4 wheeled armoured vehicles, it has been revealed. In total the country will receive 10 vehicles under a USD15.2 million contract awarded by the US Army Contracting Command to Textron Systems on 19 September. The country previously received seven Commando Advanced 4x4s in April 2008 for use in Afghanistan under a USD10.47 ... Read More »

Balkans launch fight against jihadist recruitment

With the world on high alert over foreign fighters joining jihadist ranks in Syria and Iraq, Balkan states are launching efforts to clamp down on recruiting in their region, considered fertile ground by Islamists. Of the more than 20 million people in southeast Europe, more than 5 million are Muslims, and an economic slump in weak states battered by past ... Read More »

Top DoD Official: US Will ‘Respond’ if Japan-China Dispute Escalates

The US will respond with military force if allies in the Pacific region are threatened, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said on Tuesday in response to questions about Japan’s dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands. Japan and China both claim ownership of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, located east of China and south of Japan. US officials have been on Japan’s ... Read More »

Chinese Submarine Headed to Gulf of Aden For Counter Piracy Operations

China has sent a submarine to the Gulf of Aden to help in counter piracy operations — a first for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) submarine fleet, according to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense. In a press briefing last week, ministry spokesman Col. Geng Yansheng confirmed a PLAN submarine was headed off the coast of Somalia to join ... Read More »

UPDATE 1-China facing growing U.S. pressure over Hong Kong protests

China is facing growing U.S. pressure to show restraint during mass pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, with the issue to be raised in high-level bilateral talks, and a prominent U.S. lawmaker has expressed “grave concerns” over the troubles. A day after the United States backed calls by thousands of protesters for greater autonomy in selecting candidates for Hong Kong’s chief ... Read More »