15 February 2018 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 15 Feb 2018 [PDF]
- US in Afghanistan because its main rivals are in neighborhood: Karzai Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- The United States is not in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban but because America's main rivals like China, Russia and Iran are in the neighborhood, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai says.
- In letter to American people, Taliban claims it seeks end to war Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- In an open letter to the "American people," the Taliban militant group has claimed it is willing to enter into "peaceful dialog" to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan's Herat Province 'Cleared Of Landmines' RFE/RL 15 Feb 2018 -- The HALO Trust demining group says it has cleared Afghanistan's Herat Province of landmines as part of a 10-year project funded by the British government.
- Afghan Civilian Casualties Declined, But UN Still Notes 'Appalling Suffering' RFE/RL 15 Feb 2018 -- The number of civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan declined last year but the number of deaths from air strikes was on the rise, the United Nations says.
- Over 3,000 Civilians Killed, 7,000 Injured in Afghanistan in 2017 - UN Mission Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- Over 3,400 civilians were killed and about 7,000 others were injured in Afghanistan in 2017, which is a decrease of 9 percent compared to the previous year, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a press release on Thursday.
- UN says more than 10,000 civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan conflict last year UN News 15 Feb 2018 -- More than 10,000 civilians were killed or wounded in the Afghanistan conflict during 2017, a nine per cent drop over 2016, according to a United Nations report out Thursday which also revealed rising casualties caused by suicide bombings and attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
- UN Records 9 Percent Drop in Afghan Civilian Casualties VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- The United Nations has documented a nine percent reduction in civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2017 but warned of increased harm to civilians this year as warring sides are expected to intensify hostilities.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Readout of Secretary Mattis' Meeting with Bulgarian Minister of Defense Krasimir Karakachanov DoD 15 Feb 2018
- Readout From Secretary James N. Mattis' Bilateral Meeting With Turkish Minister of Defense DoD 15 Feb 2018
- Press Conference By Secretary Mattis At NATO Headquarters In Brussels, Belgium DoD 15 Feb 2018 -- Presenter: Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis
- Increased Funding Will Improve Military Readiness, Senior Officers Say AFPS 15 Feb 2018 -- While challenges face the Army, the service remains resolute in its mission to fight and win the nation's wars, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville told members of a Senate panel here yesterday.
- Allied artillery takes center stage during exercise Dynamic Front 18 Army News 15 Feb 2018 -- Allied artillery and supporting units will practice integrating joint fires and test interoperability in a multinational environment here during the U.S. Army Europe-led exercise Dynamic Front 18, Feb. 23 -- March 10, 2018.
- 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team trains for Kosovo mission with Task Force Warhawg Army News 15 Feb 2018 -- Soldiers from the California Army National Guard 79th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) successfully completed a Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRX) on Feb. 12 at Camp McGregor, New Mexico, in preparation for an upcoming nine-month security and stabilization mission in Kosovo.
- Accelerating Enterprise Cloud Adoption DoD 15 Feb 2018 -- In September 2017, the Department of Defense (DoD) established the Cloud Executive Steering Group (CESG) to develop and execute a strategy to accelerate the adoption of cloud architectures and cloud services with a focus on commercial solutions.
- Cobra Gold 18: Exercise Cobra Gold opening ceremony USMC News 15 Feb 2018 -- The commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, Gen. Thanchaiyan Srisuwan, Mr. Glyn T. Davies, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, and Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, commander, III Marine Expeditionary Force, led the opening ceremony for Exercise Cobra Gold at the Royal Thai Naval Aviation Division, U-Tapao International Airport, Sattahip district, Chonburi province, Tuesday Feb. 13, 2018. They were joined by the ambassadors of Japan and the Republic of Korea and representatives from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
- US Forces, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Participate in Resilient Shield 2018 NNS 15 Feb 2018 -- Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70, along with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, U.S. Air Force assets, and units from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), will participate in Resilient Shield 2018, Feb. 16-23.
- US F-15E Strike Eagles Can Now Carry Extended-Range Standoff Attack Missiles Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- US F-15E Strike Eagles have gained a more robust capability to fire long-range missiles for attacking land targets.
- Keynote speech by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller at the joint German Marshall Fund – Microsoft event on Countering Hybrid Threats (followed by panel discussion) NATO 15 Feb 2018
- Mattis: NATO on 'Right Trajectory' to Protect Nations, Values AFPS 15 Feb 2018 -- NATO defense ministers agreed to continue projecting stability beyond its borders and will continue to build capabilities within the alliance, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said in Brussels today.
- NATO Defence Ministers take decisions to strengthen the Alliance NATO 15 Feb 2018 -- NATO Defence Ministers wrapped up two days of talks in Brussels on Thursday (15 February 2018), focused on the NATO Command Structure, fair burden-sharing and the Alliance's efforts to project stability beyond its borders.
- Deputy Secretary General welcomes New Zealand's Minister of Defence to NATO NATO 15 Feb 2018 -- Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller welcomed Defence Minister Ron Mark to NATO Headquarters on Thursday (15 February 2018) to discuss deepening cooperation between NATO and New Zealand. New Zealand recently concluded a new Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) with the Alliance, which sets out an ambitious roadmap for continued partnership.
- NATO Ministers OK New Command Centers, Expanded Iraq Presence RFE/RL 15 Feb 2018 -- NATO defense ministers have wrapped up two days of talks in Brussels during which they approved plans to create two command centers in response to what the military alliance called a "changing" security environment.
- UK to Boost Presence in NATO Command Despite Brexit - Defence Secretary Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said that the United Kingdom will remain committed to the interests of NATO after Brexit and will increase its presence in the NATO command structure, the ministry said in a statement Thursday.
- UK steps up commitment to a modernised NATO UK MOD 15 Feb 2018 -- Speaking at a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson set out his ambition for a modern NATO that delivers on its commitments.
- German Army Lacks Combat Ready Tanks for NATO Ops –- Reports Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- In recent times, Germany's military has been making headlines with its equipment shortages and poor performance, however, next year, the country is going to take on the leading role in NATO's rapid deployment force "Speerspitze".
- Iran says won't allow others to undermine its defense power Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- Iran says it will not permit other countries to undermine its defense might while they are themselves supplying regional countries with lethal weapons.
- US Delivers 2,500 More Night Vision Devices to Ukraine Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- The United States has supplied Ukraine with 2,500 more night vision devices, adding to $850 million in security assistance it has provided to Kiev since 2014, the US Embassy in Ukraine said on Wednesday.
- Department Press Briefing - February 15, 2018 US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2018
- 15 February 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Feb 2018
- Alarming gaps in reliable data leave 28 million uprooted children unprotected - UN UN News 15 Feb 2018 -- There are "alarming holes" in the availability, reliability, timeliness and accessibility of the data and evidence essential for understanding how children and their families are impacted by migration and forced displacement, United Nations agencies and their partners warned on Thursday.
- Turkey urges US to remove YPG from Washington's military coalition in Syria Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- The Turkish defense minister says he has urged his American counterpart to stop supporting the People's Protection Units (YPG) militant group and to remove the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria.
- Turkey sets up new observation outpost in northwestern Syria Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- Turkey has set up a new observation point in the Syrian northwestern province of Idlib as part of an agreement with the other two guarantors of the Syria ceasefire, Iran and Russia.
- Pentagon chief urges Turkey to stay focused on fighting Daesh Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has called on Turkey to remain focused on fighting Daesh terrorists in Syria, following Ankara's military action in Syria.
- Turkey Urges US to Remove Leading Force From SDF Amid Afrin Operation Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- Turkey is currently conducting the operation in the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin, targeting Kurdish groups, which Ankara considers to be terrorists, with the US pledging its support in the fight against terrorist threats.
- Russia says five of its citizens may have been killed by US warplanes in Syria Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- Moscow says five Russian citizens may have been killed in recent attacks by US warplanes on pro-government forces in the eastern Syrian province of Dayr al-Zawr.
- Moscow: Five Russian Fighters May Have Been Killed In U.S. Strikes In Syria RFE/RL 15 Feb 2018 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry says that five Russians who were not military personnel may have been killed in a clash with U.S.-led forces in Syria last week and claims that reports putting the Russian death toll in the dozens or hundreds were "disinformation."
- Moscow Preliminarily Confirms Death of 5 Russians in Coalition's Strike in Syria Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the death of five Russian nationals in the US-led coalition's strike in Syria, but their citizenship has yet to be verified.
- Tillerson: US Never Gave Heavy Arms to Kurd-Led Militia YPG Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Tuesday accused the United States of increasing military support for the YPG operating in Syria. The official added that the YPG should not rely on external support.
- US Continues to Supply Kurds With Arms, Provoking Turkey - Moscow Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has commented on the developments in Syria, including the issue of arms supplies to Kurds from the US and the American military presence in al-Tanf.
- Syria Air Defenses Intercept Israeli Spy Planes - Reports Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- Just a few days after the downing of an Israeli fighter jet on Syrian territory, Tel Aviv has reportedly made another attempt to enter Syrian airspace using reconnaissance planes.
- Lebanon committed to secure own border against Israel: President Aoun Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun says Beirut is strongly committed to preserve calm on its southern border, urging the US to play an "effective role" to help settle land and maritime disputes with the Israeli regime.
- Israel liable for 'catastrophic' situation in Gaza amid Israeli siege, UN told Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- The UN's Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov has briefed the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the "catastrophic" humanitarian crisis in the blockaded Gaza Strip, blaming the Israeli regime for the deteriorating situation.
- Mali: $263 million sought to assist most vulnerable with humanitarian support, says UN relief official UN News 15 Feb 2018 -- Aid agencies in Mali have launched the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP ), asking for $263 million to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people, a senior United Nations aid official in the country said
- Appeals Court Declares Trump Travel Ban Unconstitutional VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- A federal appeals court has ruled that the latest version of President Donald Trump's order restricting travel is unconstitutional because it unlawfully discriminates against Muslims.
- Pakistan Slams US Intelligence Threat Report, Cites Bias VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- Pakistan has criticized as "extremely unfortunate" a new U.S. report labeling the south Asian country's weapons a continued threat to regional American interests.
- Fearing Spying, US Intelligence Warns Against Using Chinese Smartphones Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- US intelligence leaders have publicly warned US citizens not use smartphones made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE, as those companies are "beholden to foreign governments," and they fear those companies' products could be used for espionage, information theft or foreign influence.
- South Africa Parliament Elects Ramaphosa to Succeed Zuma VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- Less than 24 hours after Jacob Zuma's late-night resignation, South Africa has a new president: Cyril Ramaphosa, a successful businessman and stalwart of the African National Congress party, who was instrumental in the push to force Zuma to resign.
- At Olympics, North Korean Atrocities Overlooked by South, Overplayed by US VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- South Korea's Olympic outreach to North Korea has raised concerns that Seoul is willing to overlook human rights abuses to improve inter-Korean relations.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, February 15, 2018 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 15 Feb 2018
- Moscow Downplays U.S. Threat Of New Sanctions RFE/RL 15 Feb 2018 -- Moscow says any new sanctions imposed by the United States would have little effect on its people or economy after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would impose new punitive measures on wealthy Russians "in the near future."
- Russia Warns West Continued Election Meddling Will be Met by Hard Measures Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, it has facts showing attempts of the West to meddle in Russia's internal affairs amid presidential election campaign.
- UK blames Russia for 'NotPetya' cyber attack in June Press TV 15 Feb 2018 -- The UK has accused Russia of being behind last year's so-called "NotPetya" cyber attack, which allegedly started in Russia and Ukraine before spreading worldwide, affecting thousands of computers.
- Britain Blames Russia For 'Malicious' 2017 Cyberattack RFE/RL 15 Feb 2018 -- Britain has blamed Russia for a cyberattack last summer that disrupted companies across Europe, warning that the West will not tolerate such "malicious" activities.
- Kremlin Dismisses Allegations of Cyberattacks as Russophobic Campaign Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has commented on accusations of UK Foreign Office of Russia allegedly being behind a massive cyberattack, using the NotPetya virus.
- UK Blames Russia for NotPetya Ransomware Cyberattack Sputnik 15 Feb 2018 -- The UK's minister for cybersecurity on Thursday attributed the blame for last June's cyberattack on governments and businesses in Europe on Russia, despite providing no evidence.
- Statement from the Press Secretary The White House 15 Feb 2018
- U.S. must not accept any coercive unification moves by China: officer CNA 15 Feb 2018 -- A senior American military officer said in the United States Congress on Wednesday that the U.S. will continue to help Taiwan defend itself and that any attempt by China to force Taiwan into unification must be deemed unacceptable.
- Britain Poised to Impose Direct Rule Over Northern Ireland VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- The collapse of 13-month-long talks overnight Wednesday to restore a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland might force the British government to seek emergency powers and rule the province directly from London for the first time since 2007, acknowledge British officials.
- Serbia Must Recognize Kosovo To Join EU, Germany's FM Says RFE/RL 15 Feb 2018 -- Serbia's government has given no official reaction to a warning by Germany that Belgrade must recognize Kosovo's independence as a condition of joining the European Union.
- Tillerson Calls Hezbollah Threat to Lebanon VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Hezbollah's growing arsenal and its role in regional conflicts threatens Lebanon's security. Tillerson, on tour of the Middle East, spoke in Beirut where he met with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
- Ethiopian Prime Minister Resigns VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- Ethiopia's prime minister has announced he will resign, in what he says is an effort to advance reforms aimed at easing the country's political unrest.
- Nepal's Communist Leader Named Next Prime Minister VOA 15 Feb 2018 -- K.P. Sharma Oli has been picked to become the new prime minister of Nepal after leading an alliance of two communist parties to a sweeping victory in recent parliamentary elections.
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