Category Archives: Military

UK moves closer to signing Typhoon jet deal with Saudis

Proposed multibillion-pound deal with BAE Systems to buy 48 jets denounced by campaigners

Britain’s biggest arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, has moved towards completing an order worth billions of pounds from Saudi Arabia for the purchase of 48 Typhoon fighter jets.

The announcement came at the end of a three-day visit to the UK by the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Although the order could help save jobs, the proposed contract was immediately denounced by arms campaigners concerned about Saudi Arabia’s bombing of Yemen.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Strava suggests military users 'opt out' of heatmap as row deepens

Fitness-tracking company suggests secret army base locations were made public by users, while militaries around world weigh up ban

Fitness-tracking company Strava has defended its publication of heatmaps that accidentally reveal sensitive military positions, arguing that the information was already made public by the users who uploaded it.

Following the revelations, militaries around the world are contemplating bans on fitness trackers to prevent future breaches. As well as the location of military bases, the identities of individual service members can also be uncovered, if they are using the service with the default privacy settings.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Bodies of second world war sailors in Java sea 'dumped in mass grave'

Illegal metal scavengers accused of disposing of remains from British and Dutch warships

The remains of second world war sailors who died on British and Dutch warships in the Java sea were secretly dumped in an anonymous mass grave by modern-day metal scavengers as they rifled through wrecks illegally lifted from the sea bed, it has been claimed.

Related: The world’s biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WWII shipwrecks

Continue reading…
Source: gad

UK warned that Russian threat requires increased defence spending

Chief of general staff, Sir Nick Carter, will say Britain needs to keep up with adversaries to avoid being exposed to unorthodox, hybrid warfare

Britain’s defence chief of general staff, Sir Nick Carter, is to warn that the UK is trailing Russia in terms of defence spending and capability.

Carter is to use a speech in London to enter publicly into the debate over defence spending, which military chiefs and Conservative MPs claim has dropped to dangerously low levels.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Forget Britain’s nuclear deterrent – here’s what Russia is really afraid of | Mark Galeotti

Russia is being weaponised to justify big-ticket buys for the UK military, yet there’s little talk of what Moscow thinks matters

British defence spending and capabilities are in the middle of a bitter review in which the potential threat from Russia is frequently invoked, whether that means cutting ocean-bottom internet cables, flying bombers into our airspace, or invading Nato territory.

Russia is – to use a word of the day – being weaponised in the name of particular service interests and justifying big-ticket new systems. Nonetheless, given that Russia is the most serious aggressor the UK might have to face, it is striking how little discussion there has been about what kind of British military capabilities genuinely concern Russian soldiers and planners.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan

After 16 years and $1tn spent, there is no end to the fighting – but western intervention has resulted in Afghanistan becoming the world’s first true narco-state. By Alfred W McCoy

After fighting the longest war in its history, the US stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How could this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 16 years – deploying more than 100,000 troops at the conflict’s peak, sacrificing the lives of nearly 2,300 soldiers, spending more than $1tn (£740bn) on its military operations, lavishing a record $100bn more on “nation-building”, helping fund and train an army of 350,000 Afghan allies – and still not be able to pacify one of the world’s most impoverished nations? So dismal is the prospect of stability in Afghanistan that, in 2016, the Obama White House cancelled a planned withdrawal of its forces, ordering more than 8,000 troops to remain in the country indefinitely.

In the American failure lies a paradox: Washington’s massive military juggernaut has been stopped in its steel tracks by a small pink flower – the opium poppy. Throughout its three decades in Afghanistan, Washington’s military operations have succeeded only when they fit reasonably comfortably into central Asia’s illicit traffic in opium – and suffered when they failed to complement it.

Continue reading…
Source: gad