Murphy’s Law: 21st Century War, How It Will Be Different And Why

Marine Corps RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial vehi...

Marine Corps RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle launches from Speedbag Airfield (Photo credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery)

January 24, 2014: The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were different in a lot of ways many people didn’t expect, understand, or even notice. For example, the three week conquest of Iraq was not facilitated so much by high tech weapons, but largely by Cold War era gear using World War II tactics. The most crucial weapons were the decades old M-1 tank and M-2 infantry vehicle, with the 1960s vintage M-109 self-propelled artillery provided most of the artillery support. The 1950s era B-52 bomber was still the most cost effective way to deliver bomb attacks.

And what was so unique about conquering Iraq in three weeks while outnumbered? The British did this in 1941, using only two divisions under similar circumstances (and with far fewer armored vehicles). Not only that, the 1941 Iraqis also had the support of Germany, France and Russia. Made no difference.  Afghanistan featured a handful of American Special Forces troops calling in air strikes while deep in enemy territory. That was standard practice during the 1960s Vietnam War. But change is in the air, it’s just a bit more complex a wave of change than most pundits are trying to describe.

Continue reading

Israeli Army dismantles spy device on border with Lebanon

January 21, 2014 12:34 AM By Mohammed Zaatari

The Daily Star

image

UNIFIL soldiers stand guard as Israeli soldiers foot patrol the border area with Lebanon as seen from Adaisseh, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

ADAISSEH, Lebanon: Calm was restored to the border Monday following a tense standoff between the Lebanese and Israeli armies, as the latter removed an apparent spy device from a disputed area. An Israeli technical specialist unit, accompanied by some 40 soldiers, entered the disputed border territory near the southern village of Adaisseh at around 11 a.m. Monday to dismantle a device found under an olive tree the day before.

Continue reading

Kazakhstan & Germany strengthen cooperation in Space sector

21 January 2014, 19:40

image

ASTANA. January 21. KAZINFORM – Today at the National Space Agency (NSA) the Head of Kazkosmos Talgat Musabayev has met with Joachim Klein, the Head of IABG mbH German company representative office in Kazakhstan.

IABG mbH company is one of the leading companies in Germany in the space industry and it has one of the largest testing centers for spacecraft, aircraft and vehicles. The company was established in 1961 by the Federal Republic of Germany as a central organization for testing in aerospace industry as well as analysing defense and security systems.

Continue reading

Syria Threatens Chemical Attack on Foreign Force

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR and ERIC SCHMITT

Published: July 23, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian officials warned Monday that they would deploy chemical weapons against any foreign intervention, a threat that appeared intended to ward off an attack by Western nations while also offering what officials in Washington called the most “direct confirmation” ever that Syria possesses a stockpile of unconventional armaments.

Enlarge This Image

clip_image001

Bulent Kilic/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Syrian opposition fighters looked for snipers on Monday, after attacking a municipal building in Selehattin, near Aleppo.

clip_image002

Reuters

Jihad Makdissi, the Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman, reading a statement on the country’s chemical stockpiles at a news conference in Damascus on Monday.

The warning came out of Damascus, veiled behind an assurance that the Syrian leadership would never use such weapons against its own citizens, describing chemical and biological arms as outside the bounds of the kind of guerrilla warfare being fought internally.

“Any stock of W.M.D. or unconventional weapons that the Syrian Army possesses will never, never be used against the Syrian people or civilians during this crisis, under any circumstances,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, said at a news conference shown live on Syrian state television, using the initials for weapons of mass destruction. “These weapons are made to be used strictly and only in the event of external aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Continue reading

From Strength to Strength: Military Exercises Bolster Sino-Thai Relations

Publication: China Brief Volume: 12 Issue: 12

June 22, 2012 04:56 PM Age: 2 days  By: Ian Storey

clip_image001

Chinese and Thai Marines During the Recent Exercise

In May, as the tense face off between maritime law enforcement vessels from the Philippines and China at Scarborough Shoal entered its second month, several hundred marines from Thailand and China conducted combined military exercises in Guangdong province. The two events highlight the widening fault line within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) between those members who view Chinese assertiveness as a serious national security concern—which can only be addressed with help from the United States—and member states who do not have a direct stake in the dispute and continue to prioritize strengthening economic, political and security ties with Beijing. The Philippines falls on one side of the divide, Thailand on the other. As Sino-Philippine relations deteriorate, Sino-Thai relations move from strength to strength.

Developing Sino-Thai Relations

Thailand and China developed a close relationship in the late 1970s when threat perceptions converged in the wake of Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia in 1978. During Hanoi’s decade-long occupation, Bangkok and Beijing forged a de facto strategic alliance. China exerted military pressure on Vietnam when the Vietnamese military violated Thai sovereignty and Thailand facilitated the delivery of Chinese weaponry to anti-Vietnamese Khmer Rouge guerrillas along the Thai-Cambodian border. When Vietnam withdrew its forces from Cambodia in the late 1980s, the focus of Sino-Thai cooperation shifted quickly and seamlessly to trade and investment, and Thailand quickly established itself as China’s most important economic partner in mainland Southeast Asia.

Continue reading

American Warships Mass Off China

US Navy 040728-N-7631T-067 Out-going Commander...

US Navy 040728-N-7631T-067 Out-going Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Rear Adm. James M. Zortman, center, and incoming Rear Adm. H. Denby Starling, II, salute Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Adm. William J (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

June 10, 2012: The U.S. announced that it will have 60 percent of its 270 warships in the Pacific by the end of the decade. Actually, this is just a continuation of a process that began when the Cold War ended in 1991. But these changes move slowly. Largely this is the result of political problems that arise when you try to transfer the home ports (where the ships are when not at sea and where the families of the crews live, and spend their money) from one coast to another. The politicians representing states on the east coast raise a major stink when the navy tries to move the home ports. It’s taken the navy a decade to muster the political clout to make the changes happen. Meanwhile, more and more ships based in east coast ports were serving temporarily in the Pacific or Middle East. Now the big shift has been taking place officially. There have been other indicators that this was happening.

For example, six years ago the U.S. Navy eliminated the Atlantic Fleet, after a century of existence. First established in 1906, the Atlantic Fleet was the first, world class, high seas, naval force from the Americas. At the time, there was fear that Germany’s ambitious warship building program might someday endanger the United States. The Atlantic Fleet did go to war with the Germans in 1917, and again in 1941.

After 1945, the Atlantic Fleet remained a mighty force, in preparation for a potential battle with the growing naval power of the Soviet Union. But when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, their fleet wasted away within a decade. So the American Atlantic Fleet no longer had a major opponent. Meanwhile, China, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran provided plenty of work for the Pacific Fleet (which normally supplied ships for Middle East and South Asian emergencies.)

Continue reading

Pakistan–Counter terrorism strategy

Kilcullen's 3 pillars of insurgency/counterins...

Kilcullen’s 3 pillars of insurgency/counterinsurgency (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Syed Adnan Athar Bukhari

It is apropos of the news entitled “New Khyper Pakhtunkhwa strategy to eradicate militancy”, published in a national English daily, on Monday, May 21, 2012. The piece of news articulates that there is a need to move forward from 3-D (Development, Deterrence and Dialogue) carrot and stick policy towards mobilization of all institutes for countering insurgency. The KPK government has emphasized that the only use of force is not a viable solution. Input from all institutions of government machinery is required. Meaning thereby, chalking out a grand strategy for COIN (Counter Insurgency) is needed. Sun Tzu in his profound book, ‘The Art of War’ said, “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.” Relating it to our case study of insurgency in FATA, it is pertinent to know our enemies, analyse them with precision and make a strategy to win over them.

David Galula’s book “Counterinsurgency warfare: Theory and Practice” provided four conditions for a successful counter insurgency plan. One, getting popular support; second, using active minority to attain maximum support of the masses; protection of population comes at third; fourth, dismantling insurgents armed strength along with building long-term relationship with masses. This long-term relation can be maintained through building infrastructure and establishing grass root level friendly ties between armed forces and public. Continue reading