19 December 2013 Military News
- OIF/OEF/OND Casualty Update 19 Dec 2013 [PDF]
- Hagel, Dempsey Continue Focus on Afghanistan AFPS 19 Dec 2013 -- The United States is still at war, and DOD leaders will continue to focus on Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today.
- Bagram runway reopens, first F-16s arrive AFNS 19 Dec 2013 -- The first of several F-16 Fighting Falcons arrived at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 15.
- Iran Looks to Deepen Ties to Afghanistan VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- Amid a dispute with the United States over a long-term security deal, Afghanistan is pursuing closer ties with neighboring Iran. The diplomacy could signal an increasing regional role for Tehran in Afghan affairs after most international troops leave Afghanistan in 2014.
Defense Policy / Programs
- White House Releases Panel Report on US Surveillance Practices VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- The White House has released an independent panel's review of U.S. intelligence practices, with recommendations that are expected to serve as a basis for a revision of policy procedures guiding the National Security Agency. President Barack Obama met with panel members Wednesday to discuss 46 recommendations they made on how to modify U.S. surveillance practices.
- Panel Recommends Changes To NSA Practices RFE/RL 19 Dec 2013 -- A report by a presidential task force has recommended changes to the U.S. government's surveillance programs.
- US, China Raise Tensions Over Maritime Issues VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel calls China's actions in a near-collision in the South China Sea irresponsible. He also warned that such incidents could aggravate tensions in the region. This latest episode could test the increased U.S. emphasis on Asia.
- Navy's Redesigned Aircrew Endurance Survival Vest Reaches Key Milestone NNS 19 Dec 2013 -- Lighter than its bulky predecessor, the Navy's redesigned Aircrew Endurance (AE) Survival Vest recently attained initial operational capability (IOC), a key milestone in the development of the life-saving equipment, the service announced Dec. 18.
- Ribbon Cutting Marks Opening of Carderock's Upgraded Maneuvering, Seakeeping Basin NNS 19 Dec 2013 -- Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock marked the opening of the maneuvering and seakeeping basin (MASK) facility, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dec. 19.
- First Dutch F-35 pilot takes to skies AFNS 19 Dec 2013 -- The first Netherlands pilot took to the skies here Dec. 18, in the F-35A Lightning II, making the Netherlands the second partner country to operate the fifth-generation multirole fighter.
- Budget 'Step in the Right Direction,' Hagel Says AFPS 19 Dec 2013 -- The budget deal that passed Congress yesterday means the page is turning on a prolonged period of fiscal uncertainty, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today during a joint news conference with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- Department of Defense Press Briefing by Secretary Hagel and General Dempsey in the Pentagon Briefing Room DoD 19 Dec 2013 -- Presenters: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin E. Dempsey
- DOD Approves Community Economic Adjustment Grants for the Oshkosh, Wis., and Texarkana, Texas, Regions in Response to Reductions in Defense Expenditures DoD 19 Dec 2013 -- The Department of Defense announced today two community economic adjustment grants from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).
- Navy to Build $57 Million MV-22 Hangar and Aircraft Staging Area for Marine Corps Base Hawaii NNS 19 Dec 2013 -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific awarded a $57 million firm-fixed-price contract Dec. 17 to Watts Contrack, a Joint Venture of Honolulu, Hawaii for the construction of a Marine Vertical (MV) 22 hangar, supporting utility infrastructure, and an aircraft staging area for Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
- Army Announces Decision on Army Cyber Forces DoD 19 Dec 2013 -- The United States Army announced today that the Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) Headquarters will be located at Fort Gordon, Ga., consolidating and coordinating Army cyber and network operations under one commander for the first time in its history.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's Call with Egyptian Minister of Defense General Al-Sisi DoD 19 Dec 2013
- MAG-14 Marines support exercise Razor Talon USMC News 19 Dec 2013 -- Several Marine Aircraft Group 14 squadrons participated in exercise Razor Talon Friday, an Air Force led joint-exercise at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
- 22nd MEU completes final major pre-deployment exercise USMC News 19 Dec 2013 -- The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed its Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) with the U.S. Navy Sailors and ships of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 6 off the East Coast, at sea, Dec. 15, 2013.
- Submarine USS Hampton Returns from Deployment NNS 19 Dec 2013 -- Friends and family of Sailors aboard the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hampton (SSN 767) welcomed home Hampton's crew Dec. 18 following a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.
- NAVFAC Pacific Awards Contract to Local Small Business Firm NNS 19 Dec 2013 -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific awarded Dec. 18 an indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum amount of $10 million to S. S. Dannaway and Associates, Inc. of Honolulu for architect-engineer services at various Navy and Marine Corps activities in the NAVFAC Pacific Area of Responsibility, but not limited to, Hawaii, Guam and Japan.
- NATO Secretary General urges EU nations to invest in capabilities NATO 19 Dec 2013 -- Anders Fogh Rasmussen addressed the European Council on defence in Brussels today (19 December 2013), encouraging European nations to further develop their military capabilities and to ensure greater cooperation and coordination between NATO and the EU. In the first ever address of a NATO Secretary General to a European Council, Mr Fogh Rasmussen told EU heads of state and government that "for Europe to play its full part, we must develop real capabilities, and those capabilities that our nations really need: observation drones, air-to-air refueling, heavy transport."
- Russia to Develop 5th-Generation Attack Helicopter by 2017 RIA Novosti 19 Dec 2013 -- It could take Russia about three years to complete the development of a fifth-generation attack helicopter and start testing its prototype, a defense industry official said Wednesday.
- Putin Says No Iskanders Deployed in Kaliningrad RIA Novosti 19 Dec 2013 -- President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia has not deployed Iskander tactical nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad, an exclave wedged between NATO members Lithuania and Poland.
- Interview: UN Envoy Says Drone Strikes Violate Pakistan's Sovereignty RFE/RL 19 Dec 2013 -- Masood Khan, Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations, says that while suspected U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory are effective, they are a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and fuel anger against Washington and Islamabad
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 12/19/2013 The White House 19 Dec 2013
- 19 December 2013 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 19 Dec 2013
- 19 December 2013 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 19 Dec 2013
- 19 December 2013 - Press Conference by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson at United Nations Headquarters United Nations 19 Dec 2013
- Assad re-election bid unstoppable: Syria Iran Press TV 19 Dec 2013 -- The Syrian government says that nobody can stop President Bashar al-Assad from standing for re-election next year, reports said.
- Enforced disappearances in Syria widespread, reports UN human rights panel UN News Centre 19 Dec 2013 -- Enforced disappearances are being committed throughout Syria as part of a campaign of intimidation and as a tactic of war, says a report published today by the United Nations panel investigating human rights violations in the country.
- OPCW Plan For Destroying Syrian Chemical Weapons Complex, Chancy VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, which has been tasked with ensuring that Syria destroys its chemical weapons arsenal by the middle of next year, outlined its plans for accomplishing that task this week. It will not be easy, and OPCW Director General Ahmet Uzumcu said that states assisting in the mission have, "in the interest of the common good, assumed onerous responsibilities" in executing a plan that has been so quickly put together.
- Germany rejects France request on CAR Iran Press TV 19 Dec 2013 -- Germany has played down the possibility of any financial aid for the French military intervention in the Central African Republic (CAR).
- Central African Republic: UN experts urge parties to 'pull back from the brink' of all-out war UN News Centre 19 Dec 2013 -- A group of independent United Nations human rights experts today urged all parties in the Central African Republic (CAR), where armed clashes have escalated in recent weeks leading to deaths and population displacement, to step back from the brink of all-out sectarian conflict.
- US Calls for Disarmament in CAR VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has arrived in Bangui, in the Central African Republic, where she is to meet with government officials and civil society leaders about the fighting that has created a large and growing humanitarian crisis.
- PM: CAR Will Move Up Presidential Election VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- The prime minister of the Central African Republic has announced plans to speed up a transition of power, as the country deals with deadly unrest.
- South Sudan: assailants attack UN base sheltering desperate civilians UN News Centre 19 Dec 2013 -- Unknown assailants attacked a United Nations base in South Sudan today, possibly killing or injuring civilians who had sought refuge inside during violent clashes between Government forces and rebels, with the number of people fleeing to UN installations now reaching 35,000.
- Violence Intensifies in South Sudan's Jonglei VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- The United Nations has warned that the situation in South Sudan’s Jonglei State has deteriorated after an attack Thursday on a U.N. base in Akobo sheltering civilians. The U.N. has lost contact with the base and plans to send aircraft to Akobo Friday to remove its personnel and learn what has happened to the civilians.
- Crisis in South Sudan Deepens VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- The South Sudanese government has lost control of territory north of the capital, as fighting that already has split the armed forces threatens to further divide the country. Civilians are continuing to flee the violence.
- RAF evacuates Britons from South Sudan UK MOD 19 Dec 2013 -- RAF aircrew made a daring precision landing at an airfield in South Sudan to rescue British citizens fleeing turmoil in the African state.
- Ivoirian refugees in Ghana and Togo fear reprisal IRIN 19 Dec 2013 -- Fear of reprisal is preventing thousands of Ivoirians from returning to Cote d'Ivoire from Ghana and Togo, where they sought refuge following the violently disputed 2010-2011 presidential elections.
- Powerful storm and power shortages fill Gaza with waste water IRIN 19 Dec 2013 -- Hamdi Al Shami, 54, woke up in the highly populated Zeitoun area of Gaza City, on 11 December, to find raw sewage flowing down his street at a height of more than 2m. It was just one of several sewage overflows to occur in his neighbourhood over the last five weeks.
- White House: Obama Would Veto Any New Iran Sanctions VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- The White House says President Barack Obama would veto any new legislation imposing additional sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
- Salehi: Nuclear fuel for Tehran's reactor reserved for 4 years IRNA 19 Dec 2013 -- Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi said on Thursday that Iran has reserved nuclear fuel for Tehran's reactor for four years and there is nothing to worry about in this regard.
- Iran deal obviates excuse for US missile system: Lavrov Iran Press TV 19 Dec 2013 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reiterated that the implementation of a recent nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers leaves no place for the deployment of a US missile system in Europe.
- Putin Describes Ukraine Deal As 'Brotherly' Help RFE/RL 19 Dec 2013 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his thoughts on Ukraine, the Winter Olympics, a prison amnesty, Iran's nuclear program, and Edward Snowden, among other issues, during a marathon four-hour press conference,
- Yanukovych Defends Bailout, Tells West To Stay Out RFE/RL 19 Dec 2013 -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has defended Kyiv's bailout deal with Moscow, and told the West not to interfere in Ukraine's current political crisis.
- Ukraine Put EU Association on Hold, Not Rejected It - President RIA Novosti 19 Dec 2013 -- Kiev put its political association and free-trade talks with the European Union on hold, but is ready to resume them if favorable terms are offered, the Ukrainian president said Thursday.
- Russia's Top Diplomat Says EU Trying to Dictate Ukraine's Future RIA Novosti 19 Dec 2013 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday accused the European Union of trying to dictate to Ukraine.
- Yanukovych: West Should Stay Out of Ukraine Crisis VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- Ukraine's embattled president harshly criticized the West on Thursday for supporting massive street protests calling for his ouster and announced plans to partially join a Moscow-led economic union - a move likely to deepen the country's political crisis.
- Putin: I envy Obama, he gets away with spying Iran Press TV 19 Dec 2013 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says he envies his US counterpart Barack Obama because he can spy on his allies without any consequences.
- Putin Calls Snowden 'Noble,' Says Never Met Him RIA Novosti 19 Dec 2013 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin described Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency contractor who has received temporary asylum in Russia, as a noble man, but denied having ever met him.
- Putin Envies Obama's Ability to Spy on the World RIA Novosti 19 Dec 2013 -- President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he envied US President Barack Obama's ability to spy on the rest of the world.
- Inquiry asserts UK complicity with US in rendition, torture Iran Press TV 19 Dec 2013 -- A newly-revealed inquiry shows that British intelligence agents have been involved in the controversial US rendition program, which involved torturing terror suspects.
- General Assembly adopts consensus text backing right to privacy in digital age UN News Centre 19 Dec 2013 -- Deeply concerned that electronic surveillance, interception of digital communications and collection of personal data may negatively impact human rights, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a consensus resolution strongly backing the right to privacy, calling on all countries take measures to end activities that violate this fundamental "tenet of a democratic society."
- AWOL Taiwanese intelligence officer held in U.K. CNA 19 Dec 2013 -- A Taiwanese military intelligence officer who went absent without leave and fled to the United Kingdom in July 2012 has been detained as the Taiwanese authorities seek her deportation.
- Corruption Probe Seen as Challenge to Turkish PM's Authority VOA 19 Dec 2013 -- Turkish police have detained at least 49 people in Istanbul and Ankara as part of a high-level corruption probe into alleged bribery connected to public tenders. The move is being widely interpreted as a challenge to the authority of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
- Peru destroys 20 clandestine airstrips Iran Press TV 19 Dec 2013 -- A special elite unit of the Peruvian armed forces has destroyed at least 20 hidden aircraft runways in the country, which were used to fly drugs out of the jungle to Bolivia and Brazil.
- Space Telescope Begins Its Journey to Stars RIA Novosti 19 Dec 2013 -- An ambitious European space telescope has separated successfully from its Russian launch vehicle and started moving towards its working orbit 1.5 million kilometers above Earth, the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, said.
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