14 March 2018 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 14 Mar 2018 [PDF]
- Ten Afghan security forces killed in militant attack Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Militants have attacked a government checkpoint in western Afghanistan, killing at least 10 security forces.
- Top US commander says time is ripe for peace talks with Taliban Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- The top commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, says now is the "best time" for peace negotiations with the Taliban, because after years of war, the militant group is weary of an impasse in the battlefield.
- Afghanistan deploys more troops to beef up security in Farah Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Afghanistan has ordered a beef-up of security in the western province of Farah as more and more troops are deployed to counter a rising threat of Taliban.
- At Least 10 Afghan Security Forces Killed In Two Separate Attacks RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- At least 10 members of Afghan security forces have been killed in separate attacks in western and southern Afghanistan, officials say.
- US Rejects Iranian Accusations of Supporting Afghan IS VOA 14 Mar 2018 -- The United States is rejecting as "laughable and patently false" Iranian allegations that American troops in Afghanistan support Islamic State militants.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Under Secretary checks in on progress of KC-46 AFNS 14 Mar 2018 -- Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan visited the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus production and modification facility in Everett, Washington, March 14, 2018, after the latest announcement of a further delay in the first aircraft delivery to the Air Force.
- National Defense Strategy drives Air Force budget AFNS 14 Mar 2018 -- Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations about the Air Force's fiscal year 2019 budget in Washington, D.C., March 14, 2018.
- Air Force, NATO works to address pilot shortage AFNS 14 Mar 2018 -- The shortage of pilots in the Air Force has been well documented, but the United States isn't the only member of NATO looking for more people to fill seats.
- Trump Considers Setting Up U.S. 'Space Force' Separate From Air Force RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has said he wants the U.S. military to create a new "space force" that would be separate from the Pentagon's current army, navy, and air force.
- Readout of Secretary James N. Mattis' Meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah DoD 14 Mar 2018
- Arctic Ice Camp SKATE Supports US and UK Submarines NNS 14 Mar 2018 -- A temporary ice encampment built on a moving ice floe in the Beaufort Sea is providing critical support for three nuclear-powered submarines.
- FCC/C10F Commander Provides Testimony to Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity NNS 14 Mar 2018 -- Vice Adm. Mike Gilday, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F), provided testimony on the cyber posture of the Navy in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2019 and the Future Years Defense Program before the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on cybersecurity, March 13.
- USS Mustin Sharpens Skills During MultiSail 18 NNS 14 Mar 2018 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) operated as Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15's flagship during MultiSail 2018 and functioned as the center of combat readiness for all warfare areas.
- GHWB Earns Battle "E" Award NNS 14 Mar 2018 -- The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) earned the 2017 Battle Efficiency "E" Award from Commander, Naval Air Forces (COMNAVAIRFOR), March 13.
- Russian Mercenaries: Vagner Commanders Describe Life Inside The 'Meat Grinder' RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- The Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria say they are not in the country for the money or to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- Turkey-Qatar Defense Cooperation Stepped Up As Regional Crisis Drags On Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- In mid-2017, Saudi Arabia and a range of other regional powers severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of funding terrorism and destabilizing the region. Qatar has denied the allegations, and is solidifying military ties and defense cooperation with Turkey to counter the threat posed by the Saudi-led bloc.
- Norwegian Defense Firm Brokers Its Largest-Ever Deal in Qatar Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- The deal, which involves 15,000 man-years and over 170 Norwegian subcontractors, is part of a wider cooperation agreement with Qatari authorities on the development of defense, maritime industry and digitalization problems, Kongsberg said, while adding that it saw a "huge potential" in the middle Eastern country.
- China's Military Footprint Grows Alongside Economic Interests in Africa VOA 14 Mar 2018 -- In the 2017 movie Wolf Warrior 2, the protagonist is a heroic Chinese soldier fighting mercenaries, pirates and an Ebola-like disease in a nameless African country. The film depicts a China that's strong but benevolent – ready to fight but doing so in the name of justice and peace.
- India Lands Its C17 Globemaster Heavy Transport Aircraft at China's Doorstep Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- In 2009, India started reconstruction of disused advanced landing grounds in Arunachal Pradesh – just 29 kilometers from China. Six of them have become operational, and work is in progress to make the seventh operational. Construction of the eighth is pending, due to connectivity issues.
- South Korea Buys 90 Taurus Bunker Busting Cruise Missiles Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- South Korea has inked an agreement with European defense contractors to purchase 90 Taurus KEPD 350 long-range precision-guided cruise missiles. The weapons, estimated to carry a price tag of around $108 million, are to be used in their pre-emptive strike program as deterrence against a North Korean attack.
- Press Gaggle by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah The White House 14 Mar 2018
- 14 March 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 14 Mar 2018
- Yemeni snipers kill 14 Saudi mercenaries in retaliatory attacks Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Yemeni army soldiers, supported by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have shot dead more than a dozen pro-Saudi militiamen loyal to resigned Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the kingdom's southwestern border region of Asir.
- Turkish hopes to fully seize Syria's Afrin region daydream: YPG spox Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- A high-ranking member of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) has dismissed as a "daydream" Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's latest remarks that Turkish military forces and their allied militants will fully capture Syria's northwestern region of Afrin by nightfall.
- Erdogan: Turkey to Fully Encircle Afrin, Will 'Stomp' on Militants in Iraq Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope on Wednesday that Turkish servicemen would take control over the Syrian city of Afrin as early as Wednesday evening.
- Turkish Airstrikes Kill 8 Pro-Syrian Gov't Forces Near Afrin - Source Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- After pro-Syrian government militia joined the battle in Afrin on behalf of the Kurds, Ankara slammed the move, saying that the fighters had become Turkey's "legitimate target." Damascus has dubbed the Turkish campaign as "aggression," however, refrained from sending armed forces to the area.
- Turkey Uneasy Over Firing of Tillerson as US Top Diplomat VOA 14 Mar 2018 -- The dismissal of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is threatening to further complicate efforts to resolve a crisis involving key NATO ally, Turkey.
- Syrian Army finds toxic chemicals plant belonging to terrorists IRNA 14 Mar 2018 -- While canvassing al-Shefounieh town in Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, a Syrian Arab Army unit uncovered a plant that terrorists had used for manufacturing toxic chemicals prior to their defeat.
- Iran warns US against 'foolish' moves against Syria Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Iran has warned Washington against taking any "foolish" decisions with regards to Syria, as speculation mounts that the administration of US President Donald Trump is gearing up for a military strike against the country.
- Airstrike takes out militant commanders in Syria: Monitor Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- An airstrike has killed 12 members of a foreign-backed militant outfit, including two commanders, in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, where the Syrian government is conducting a counterterrorism operation.
- Assad vows to confront West schemes against Syria unity Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has pledged to fully deal with "Western plans" targeting the national unity and territorial integrity of his war-battered Arab country.
- Situation in E Ghouta Stabilized Significantly in Past Few Days - Russian MoD Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- The situation in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, primarily around the town of Duma, has stabilized significantly in the past few days, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
- As Syria conflict enters eighth year, UN agencies join call for peace and safe aid delivery UN News 14 Mar 2018 -- Two United Nations relief agencies on Wednesday joined a chorus of international organizations and partners in the quest to end seven years of conflict in Syria, urging warring parties to allow humanitarian access for the delivery of life-saving assistance to those desperately in need.
- Iraq's PM security detail commander killed in armed clash in Salahuddin province Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi security detail commander has been killed in firefight in the country's northern Salahuddin province.
- President Vucic Says Serbia Ready For Compromise Over Kosovo RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on March 14 that his country is ready for a compromise over its dispute with Kosovo, which is key to Serbia's bid to join the European Union.
- Philippine President Duterte Declares Withdrawal From Int'l Criminal Court Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced the upcoming withdrawal of the country from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the presidential press service said Wednesday in a statement.
- UN aid chief urges international support to tackle 'spiralling humanitarian needs' in DR Congo UN News 14 Mar 2018 -- As fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has forced 4.5 million people to flee their homes over the past year and left more than 13 million in need of humanitarian assistance, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator has called on the international community to urgently address the crisis.
- Crimea Is Ukraine US Dept. of State 14 Mar 2018 -- Four years ago this week, Russia held an illegitimate, fabricated "referendum" in Ukraine in a futile attempt to legitimize its purported annexation of Ukrainian territory. Crimean residents were compelled to vote under scrutiny by heavily armed Russian troops. Russia's claim that Ukrainians made a free choice in that sham "referendum" has always lacked credibility.
- PM Commons Statement on Salisbury incident response: 14 March 2018 Gov.UK 14 Mar 2018
- Statement by the Press Secretary on the United Kingdom's Decision to Expel Russian Diplomats The White House 14 Mar 2018
- Statement by the North Atlantic Council on the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury NATO 14 Mar 2018 -- The UK briefed the North Atlantic Council today on the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury on 4 March.
- Russia: UK trying to mislead intl. community over poisoning case Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized the UK for trying to "mislead" the international community over the poisoning of a former spy in Britain, saying London has staged a "political performance" in the case.
- UK expels 23 Russian diplomats over alleged nerve agent attack Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- The UK plans to expel 23 Russian diplomats after an alleged nerve agent attack on a Russian former double spy in southern England, the biggest single expulsion in over 30 years.
- Showdown Looms Over Poisoned Spy As Russia Fails To Respond To U.K. Deadline RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to announce measures against Russia on March 14, after Moscow ignored a midnight deadline to explain how a nerve agent developed during the Cold War was used to poison a former Russian spy in Britain.
- Britain To Expel 23 Russian Diplomats Over Nerve-Agent Poisoning RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain will expel 23 Russian diplomats and halt high-level contacts as part of a package of measures against Moscow, which ignored a deadline to explain how a deadly chemical developed during the Cold War was used to poison a former Russian spy in the English city of Salisbury last week.
- Russian UN Envoy: 'Unacceptable' for UK to Accuse Moscow of Nerve Agent Attack Sputnik 14 Mar 2018 -- During an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding the poisoning of Russian intelligence agent-turned-British double agent Sergei Skripal, Russian ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya called the UK's allegations that Moscow was responsible "completely unacceptable" and demanded to see material proof.
- Britain to Brief UN Security Council on Spy Poisoning Probe VOA 14 Mar 2018 -- Britain will brief members of the U.N. Security Council Wednesday on an alleged chemical weapons attack on an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in the city of Salisbury on March 4.
- Gina Haspel's torture history raises alarm on her nomination to lead CIA Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- US Senator John McCain has condemned President Donald Trump's decision to nominate Gina Haspel to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), saying she was involved in "one of the darkest chapters in American history."
- Ties with US cannot get any worse, Russia says after Tillerson's exit Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Russia says relations with the United States could not get any worse, following US President Donald Trump's dismissal of his secretary of state, who in a previous, personal capacity had good ties with Moscow.
- Czech Court Delays Extradition Of Hacking Suspect In U.S.-Russia Tug-Of-War RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- A last-minute complaint from Yevgeny Nikulin, the Russian cybercrime suspect at the center of a tug-of-war between Moscow and Washington, has delayed a final decision on his extradition to the United States or Russia.
- Saudi cabinet approves atomic policy ahead of bin Salman's US visit Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Saudi Arabia's cabinet has approved a national atomic energy policy, as the oil-rich kingdom tries to rationalize an ambitious plan to supposedly diversify its energy resources.
- 'Japan's Abe considering summit with North Korean leader' Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly considering holding a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, despite earlier reservations about dialog with Pyongyang.
- Monitoring System to Hold North Korea Accountable for Rights Abuse VOA 14 Mar 2018 -- Progress is being made in setting up a system to monitor and document human rights violations in North Korea, particularly those that may amount to crimes against humanity, according to the U.N.
- As Trump and Kim Look to Meet, China Watches From Sidelines VOA 14 Mar 2018 -- China is voicing support for the possible U.S.-North Korea summit, despite concerns that it will be left out of talks that could dramatically alter regional security and political dynamics.
- Iran will leave JCPOA if US withdraws it: Iranian deputy FM ISNA 14 Mar 2018 -- Iranian deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs emphasized that Iran will leave the JCPOA if the US withdraws the nuclear deal.
- US general signals support for Iran nuclear deal: Reuters IRNA 14 Mar 2018 -- The agreement, which US President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from, has played an important role in addressing Iran's nuclear program, said a top US general, referring to the 2015 Iran Deal.
- Head of US Central Command signals support for Iran nuclear deal Press TV 14 Mar 2018 -- A senior Pentagon official has expressed support for the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, saying that the agreement is still in the best interests of the United States despite US President Donald Trump's threats of withdrawing from it.
- Pentagon Voices Support For Iran Nuclear Deal Amid Tillerson Exit RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- A top U.S. military commander expressed the Pentagon's continued support for Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, hours after the announced departure of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a top defender of the deal in the U.S. administration.
- Wang Yang elected chairman of China's top political advisory body People's Daily 14 Mar 2018 -- Wang Yang was elected chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top political advisory body, Wednesday afternoon.
- China's BeiDou navigation application expected to be launched this May People's Daily 14 Mar 2018 -- A navigation application based on China's home-grown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is expected to be launched on May 1, Chinese media reported.
- Ukraine's Main Backers In EU Put Pressure On Kyiv Over Reforms RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- BRUSSELS -- Thirteen of Ukraine's most enthusiastic backers in the European Union have piled pressure on Kyiv by warning that the implementation of important reforms are "just beginning or lagging behind," according to a document seen by RFE/RL.
- Why This Central Asian Summit Could Be Different RFE/RL 14 Mar 2018 -- The first summit of Central Asian leaders in nearly 20 years is set for March 15 in Kazakhstan's capital Astana.
- Sierra Leone Front-runners to Contest Runoff After First-Round Stalemate VOA 14 Mar 2018 -- Sierra Leone will hold a runoff presidential election in two weeks after the country's 16 candidates failed to clinch the 55 percent of votes necessary to win in the first round.
- UN Calls for Release of Arbitrarily Arrested in Eritrea VOA 14 Mar 2018 -- The United Nations Human Rights Office is calling on the Eritrean government to immediately release all people who are arbitrarily detained and ensure they receive a fair trial. On Wednesday, a senior rights official updated the U.N. Human Rights Council on the prevailing rights situation in Eritrea.
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