15 March 2018 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 15 Mar 2018 [PDF]
- Department Of Defense Press Briefing by Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White and Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. in the Pentagon Briefing Room DoD 15 Mar 2018 -- Presenter: Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White; Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.; Colonel Rob Manning, Director, Defense Press Office
- Taliban's Studied Silence on Dialogue Offer Raises Peace Hopes in Pakistan, US VOA 15 Mar 2018 -- The Afghan Taliban's silence to the latest offer of unconditional talks by the Kabul government has raised hopes in Islamabad and Washington the insurgent group may be mulling over joining the peace process. Previous offers of negotiations had been promptly rejected.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Readout of Secretary James N. Mattis' Meeting with King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa DoD 15 Mar 2018
- Media Availability with Secretary Mattis En Route to the USA DoD 15 Mar 2018 -- Presenter: Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis
- U.S. 4th Fleet Established 75 Years Ago NNS 15 Mar 2018 -- Through the early years of WWII, the Americas largely remained neutral from the conflicts raging in Europe and Asia. This neutrality allowed German U-boats to patrol and attack merchant ships with little to no opposition in the South and Western Atlantic.
- AFCENT innovation summit fuels thoughtful debate on future Air Force and DoD operations AFNS 15 Mar 2018 -- U.S. Air Forces Central Command hosted its second annual innovation summit, March 8-9, 2018, bringing military and academic minds together to brainstorm warfighting challenges and assess progress made in collaboration between the Defense Innovation Experimental Unit and the Combined Air Operations Center.
- North Korea Poses 'Most Urgent Security Threat,' Pacom Chief Says AFPS 15 Mar 2018 -- The United States faces the most "complex and volatile" security environment in the Indo-Pacific region in recent memory, with North Korea the top threat, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command said today.
- European Command Continues Deterrence, Defense Strategy AFPS 15 Mar 2018 -- U.S. European Command has made significant progress under the deterrence initiative which has supported the largest reinforcement of the Euro-Atlantic defense in a generation, Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Eucom's commander and NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe, told the House Armed Services Committee today.
- U.S. Faces Global Science, Technology Competition, Official Says AFPS 15 Mar 2018 -- The United States is in an era of constant science and technology competition from countries such as Russia and China, a senior Pentagon official said on Capitol Hill yesterday.
- Navy to Commission Submarine Colorado DoD 15 Mar 2018 -- The Navy will commission its newest fast attack submarine, the future USS Colorado (SSN 788), during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, March 17, at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.
- UPDATE 2: F/A-18F Crash Off Coast of Florida NNS 15 Mar 2018 -- The following story was posted March 15 at 2:45 p.m. EDT.
- USS Ashland Arrives in Okinawa to Embark 31st MEU Marines NNS 15 Mar 2018 -- The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) arrived at White Beach, Okinawa, March 15 to embark the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) as part of a regularly scheduled patrol in the Indo-Pacific.
- USS Wasp Arrives in Okinawa After Completing Series of Flight Operations with F-35B Lightning NNS 15 Mar 2018 -- The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) arrived in White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, March 15, after completing a completing a dedicated period of flight operations with F-35B Lighting II from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121).
- US Needs More Forces in Europe - European Command Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- The United States needs more forces in Europe, Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Curis Scaparrotti said during a hearing at the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
- Nominee for Top NSA Post Shares Views With Senators at Confirmation Hearing AFPS 15 Mar 2018 -- President Donald J. Trump's nominee to serve as the next director of the National Security Agency today promised to defend the nation and secure the future as he testified before lawmakers during his confirmation hearing here.
- Secretary General's Annual Report: The Alliance is Stepping Up NATO 15 Mar 2018 -- Presenting his Annual Report today (Thursday 15 March 2018), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that "in an unpredictable world, the Alliance is stepping up to keep our nations safe".
- NATO Chief: Not Seeking Cold War With Russia, But Will Defend Allies RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the West is not looking to start a new Cold War or an arms race with Russia, but he reiterated that the military alliance will defend "all allies against any threat."
- UK to open chemical weapons facility to counter Russian threats Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- The UK government is planning to open a multimillion-pound facility to conduct research on chemical weapons, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson will announce on Thursday, citing threats from Russia and North Korea.
- Defence Secretary boosts Britain's chemical capability as threat intensifies UK MOD 15 Mar 2018 -- Gavin Williamson announces measures to maintain the UK's world-leading chemical analysis and capability.
- Hard as well as soft power: the case for modern defence UK MOD 15 Mar 2018 -- Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson outlines the case for a modern defence.
- Defence Secretary announces innovative threat detection system for the Army's newest armoured vehicle UK MOD 15 Mar 2018 -- The Defence Secretary announces a £3.7 million deal for the Army's next generation armoured vehicle with the latest automated threat warning system.
- Chinese Jets Drill at High Altitude Near Western Border After Engine Upgrades Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- Recent footage of People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) jets flying in western China have caused Chinese military analysts to asses that the country is increasing its military presence near the border with India, and that the country has overcome some technical hurdles to become a more effective mountain combat force.
- Chinese peacekeeping helicopters complete UN transport mission People's Daily 15 Mar 2018 -- China's first peacekeeping helicopter detachment concluded the transport of soldiers and cargos of the Senegalese peacekeeping in-fantry battalion affiliated to the Sector North of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on March 4.
- India to Fulfill Most of Its Fighter Jet Shortfall With Home-Grown Tejas Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- This is being considered a major setback by global manufacturers like Lockheed Martin and Saab, which have been aggressively trying to market their aircraft F-16 and Gripen-E, respectively, to India for the last two years.
- US Navy: No More Clashes in Gulf After Iran Makes 'Change in Their Behavior' Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- Politically, the US and Iran may be on the rocks again, but military relations have improved since 2017, according to US Navy leaders in the Persian Gulf. Iran's Navy has not engaged in any "unsafe and unprofessional" actions in months, report US Central Command.
- Saudi Arabia to make nuclear bombs if Iran does so: Crown prince Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- The Saudi crown prince, who is in Washington to push for an atomic deal with the United States that could pave the way for the Saudi regime to enrich uranium, says Riyadh will be quick to develop nuclear bombs if Iran does so.
- Saudi Crown Prince: If Iran Develops Nuclear Bomb, 'We Will Follow Suit ASAP' Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has commented on the country's actions, in case Iran develops a nuclear weapon.
- Iran: Saudi crown prince a delusional, naive person Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- The spokesman of Iran's Foreign Ministry says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is a "delusional naive person," who has no idea of politics apart from bitter talk that emanates from lack of foresight.
- Taiwan maintains goal of procuring U.S. F-35 jets: new defense chief CNA 15 Mar 2018 -- New Defense Minster Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) said Thursday that Taiwan is still interested in buying F-35 fighters from the United States because that model matches the requirements of the Air Force.
- Qatar signs 3-billion-euro military helicopter deal with Italy Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- Qatar and Italy have signed a 3-billion-euro deal for the sale of 28 military helicopters to Doha amid a diplomatic rift in the Persian Gulf region, which pits a Saudi-led quartet of states against Qatar.
- Qatar Continues Spending Spree to Bolster Military Against Saudi-Led Bloc Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- Qatar has refused to yield to the demands of the Saudi-led bloc – which have accused Doha of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing the region – and is instead purchasing advanced armaments to seemingly counter any possible military threat posed by Saudi Arabia and the other sanctioning countries.
- Eight People Killed, 14 Injured in Helicopter Crash in Senegal - Official Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- Eight people have been killed and 14 others injured in a military transport helicopter crash in southwestern Senegal, the secretary-general of the government, Seydou Gueye, said.
- Conference in Support of the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces US Dept. of State 15 Mar 2018 -- The United States today renewed its support for two of Lebanon's vital national institutions, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Internal Security Forces (ISF), in Rome at the conference in support of Lebanese state security services. U.S. delegate and Senior Bureau Official for Near Eastern Affairs, Ambassador David Satterfield, underscored that the LAF and ISF "are critical to Lebanese security and stability, and ultimately, to the survival of a stable, democratic, and prosperous Lebanon."
- Department Press Briefing - March 15, 2018 US Dept. of State 15 Mar 2018
- 15 March 2018 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Mar 2018
- UN Security Council calls for all Yemen's ports to remain fully open to all aid imports UN News 15 Mar 2018 -- The Security Council has urged warring parties in Yemen to allow humanitarian convoys to safely reach all conflict-affected governorates without hindrance, while also asking that all Yemen's ports remain fully open to commercial and relief supply imports.
- Turkey says army to take center of Syria's Afrin 'in very short time' Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- Turkey says its military will take the center of Syria's Afrin "in a very short time" and oust Kurdish militants from the region, amid Ankara's ongoing cross-border offensive into the Arab country in a declared bid to eliminate the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and other militant outfits in northwestern Syria.
- Turkey, US Will Form 'Safe Zone' Around Syria's Manbij - Erdogan's Spokesman Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- According to Ankara, the replacement of Tillerson with Pompeo would not affect the agreement.
- Defense Official Says Russia 'Complicit' in Syrian Deaths AFPS 15 Mar 2018 -- Russia has not lived up to its promises on Syria, a senior Pentagon official said here today.
- 1000s of civilians leave Eastern Ghouta amid Syria army gains against militants Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- Russia and Syria say thousands of civilians have managed to flee Eastern Ghouta less than a day after government forces advanced into a strategic town south of the militant-held Damascus suburb.
- Syrian army forces in key East Ghouta town in major blow to militants Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- Syrian armed forces have entered a strategic town in Eastern Ghouta as they press ahead with their push to liberate the suburban area near the capital, Damascus, from years of devastating militant control.
- Humanitarian Pause in Action: Nearly 13,000 Civilians Flee E Ghouta - MoD Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- The humanitarian pause in the war-torn region of Eastern Ghouta has enabled a huge number of civilians to leave the area amid intensified militant attacks.
- Thousands of Syrian Civilians Flee Last Major Rebel Stronghold VOA 15 Mar 2018 -- Thousands of civilians fled the rebel-held eastern Ghouta town of Hammouriyeh on Thursday as the Syrian army continued to make inroads into the last major stronghold in the area, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
- Ukraine: UN calls for protection of civilians after attacks on water facility workers UN News 15 Mar 2018 -- Following recent shelling of water treatment workers in eastern Ukraine, a senior United Nations official has called on all parties to the conflict to protect those civilians who maintain critical infrastructure.
- Resistance movement ready to confront any Israeli military aggression: Hezbollah deputy leader Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem says the Lebanese resistance movement is ready to confront any military onslaught or aggression by the Israeli regime.
- Israeli tanks, aircraft attack besieged Gaza Strip Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- Israel has targeted the northern part of the Gaza Strip with tanks and unmanned aircraft in yet another act of aggression against the besieged Palestinian sliver.
- Guterres urges donors to generously support UN agency for Palestine refugees, 'as a matter of human solidarity' UN News 15 Mar 2018 -- Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday called on the international community to generously support the activities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is facing "the worst financial crisis in its history."
- Security Council renews UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan UN News 15 Mar 2018 -- The United Nations Security Council on Thursday renewed the mandate of UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for another year and demanded that all parties immediately end the fighting countrywide.
- Mueller Subpoenas Trump Organization Records VOA 15 Mar 2018 -- Special counsel Robert Mueller, widening his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has subpoenaed documents at the Trump Organization, President Donald Trump's global business empire.
- Mueller Subpoenas Trump Organization, Demands Russia-Related Docs - Reports Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office has issued a subpoena to the Trump Organization for documents, including some related to Russia, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
- Russia says UK accusations of nerve agent attack 'unacceptable' People's Daily 15 Mar 2018 -- Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said Wednesday that Britain's allegations that Moscow was responsible for a nerve attack were "completely unacceptable."
- British govt. using poisoning incident to 'deflect' attention away from Brexit: Moscow Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the British government has implicated Moscow in the poisoning of a former spy in an attempt to "deflect attention" away from difficult negotiations between London and the European Union over Brexit.
- Haley calls for action against Russia for spy attack in UK Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- US Ambassador to the United Nations has accused Russia of carrying out the recent nerve agent attack against a former spy in the UK, calling for action against Moscow to ensure it never uses "chemical weapons" again.
- Don't give us ultimatums: Russian UN envoy Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- Russia's ambassador to the United Nations calls for proof to be presented over Moscow's alleged involvement in the poisoning of a former spy in Britain.
- EU Said Unlikely To Impose New Sanctions Over Nerve-Agent Attack RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- The European Union is unlikely to introduce new sanctions against Russia after the nerve-toxin poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England 11 days ago, people familiar with the matter have told RFE/RL.
- Britain's Allies 'Abhor' Nerve-Agent Attack On Russian Ex-Spy RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- The leaders of France, Germany, the United States, and Britain say Russian responsibility is the "only plausible explanation" for the poisoning of a former spy with a military-grade nerve agent in England 11 days ago.
- Skripal Case: Johnson Says U.K. May Target 'Corrupt' Putin Allies RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that the country's law enforcement agencies were investigating rich Russian individuals with assets in Britain, and suggested that those who owe their wealth to their ties with President Vladimir Putin could be brought to justice.
- Britain's Allies Express Support On Russian Poisonings But No Quick Response RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- Allies have expressed support for Britain after it announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation for the poisoning of a former spy with a military-grade nerve agent, but offered no quick response to the incident.
- New Zealand Probes Russian Ex-Spy's Poisoning Claims RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- Police in New Zealand said on March 15 that they are investigating claims by a man who said he once worked for Russian intelligence and was poisoned in Auckland more than 10 years ago.
- Corbyn Agrees With May on Russia's Alleged Complicity in Ex-Spy Poisoning in UK Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK Labour Party, on Thursday effectively backtracked on his position by agreeing with the government's claims on Russia's alleged complicity in the incident with former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who were exposed to a nerve agent in Salisbury.
- Britain, France, Germany, US Jointly Condemn Russian Spy Poisoning VOA 15 Mar 2018 -- The leaders of Britain, France, Germany and the U.S. have jointly condemned the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil that has been blamed on Moscow, calling it "the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War."
- Statement from the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom on the Attack in Salisbury The White House 15 Mar 2018
- US imposes sanctions on Russia for election meddling, cyber attacks Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- The administration of US President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions against Russia's spy agencies and more than a dozen individuals for their alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and other "malicious cyber attacks."
- New U.S. Sanctions Target Russian Intelligence, Companies For Election Meddling, Cyberattacks RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- U.S. authorities announced new financial sanctions against Russia's top intelligence agencies, more than a dozen Russian citizens, and the company known as the Russian "troll factory" in the latest U.S. push to punish Moscow.
- Q&A: Ex-White House Official Says New Russia Sanctions Will Have 'Marginal, If Any, Impact' RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- The United States has unveiled the latest round of financial sanctions targeting Russian individuals, companies, and intelligence agencies -- a move billed by administration officials as sending a strong warning about Russian election meddling, malicious cyberactivity, and other actions.
- US Imposes New Sanctions on Russian Entities - Treasury Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- The United States has imposed new anti-Russia sanctions in response to cyber attacks, including the Notpetya virus, the US Department of the Treasury said in a statement on Thursday.
- Treasury Sanctions Russian Cyber Actors for Interference with the 2016 U.S. Elections and Malicious Cyber-Attacks US Treasury 15 Mar 2018 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five entities and 19 individuals under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) as well as Executive Order (E.O.) 13694, "Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities," as amended, and codified pursuant to CAATSA.
- US Sanctions Russians for Election Meddling, Joins Condemnation of Nerve Agent Attack VOA 15 Mar 2018 -- The Trump administration is joining harsh international condemnation of Russia for a nerve agent attack in Britain blamed on Moscow, while for the first time imposing fresh sanctions – directly blaming Russia for election interference.
- Candidate With Benefits: The 'Administrative Resources' That Help Putin RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- All things supposedly being equal, one candidate has been more equal than others in the run-up to Russia's presidential election.
- Amnesty Warns Russia Is Escalating Opposition Crackdown As Election Nears RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- Amnesty International has accused Russia of mounting a "fierce crackdown" on political activists ahead of this week's presidential election, systematically violating their rights through "arbitrary" arrests and detentions.
- North Korea's top diplomat heads to Sweden to confirm venue for US talks Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho is on his way to Sweden to possibly confirm the venue for upcoming peace talks with the United States.
- 'Once hard ice melts:' China, Russia back Korean peace Press TV 15 Mar 2018 -- China and Russia have expressed their full support for a peace drive launched by South Korea to resolve the persisting Korean crisis, a top South Korean official says.
- Saudi Prince Likens Iran's Ruler to Hitler VOA 15 Mar 2018 -- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman likened Iran's supreme leader to Adolf Hitler and said Saudi Arabia will quickly develop a nuclear bomb if Iran does the same.
- Iranian Minister: Tillerson Dismissal Shows Trump Bent On Killing Nuclear Deal RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump's dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shows that he intends to pull the United States out of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, the Iranian deputy foreign minister has said.
- Op-ed: Xi's thought injects positive energy into world People's Daily 15 Mar 2018 -- Last October, a three-episode documentary, "China: Time of Xi", which introduces Chinese President Xi Jinping's ideas and visions on national governance, had its debut on the Discovery Channel.
- Uzbek President Changes Name Of Feared Security Service RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- President Shavkat Mirziyoev has changed the name of Uzbekistan's national security service, a move seen as another step aimed at shaking up the long-feared main successor of the KGB in the Central Asian country.
- Individual Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS US Dept. of Justice 15 Mar 2018 -- Vicente Adolfo Solano, 53, a citizen of Honduras residing in Miami, pleaded guilty yesterday to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
- Indian Space Agency Working on 16 Ton Payload Capacity GTO Launch Vehicle Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- The Indian space agency has proven its versatility in launching multi-satellite/multi-orbit missions, as well as lunar and interplanetary missions, it's now developing a heavy lift launch vehicle which can carry satellites of up to 16 tons to the geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
- Space Carsharing: SpaceX Launches Secret US Military Payload With Com Satellite Sputnik 15 Mar 2018 -- The secondary cargo from the recent Falcon 9 remained undisclosed until US military published orbital data from the launch, where the second object suddenly appeared. A company, related to the launch, claims the cargo is for a R&D mission.
- Taiwan to announce response to China's 'incentives' policy CNA 15 Mar 2018 -- The Cabinet is expected to announce later this week a series of measures in response to Beijing's recent offer of a raft of incentives aimed at attracting Taiwanese investment and talent, government sources said Thursday.
- 'War Hero' Savchenko Accused Of Terror Plot, Levels Own Accusations In Ukraine RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- Lawmaker and former Russian captive Nadia Savchenko has traded incendiary accusations with senior Ukrainian authorities and faces possible arrest over what Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko alleged was a detailed plan for a devastating "terrorist" attack on parliament.
- Rare Central Asian Summit Signals Regional Thaw RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- Four Central Asian presidents met in Kazakhstan for the first regional summit in almost a decade, a sign of improving ties following the death of divisive Uzbek leader Islam Karimov in 2016.
- Macedonian President Refuses Again To Sign Bill Boosting Albanian Language RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has refused for a second time to sign legislation passed by the parliament to expand the official use of the Albanian language, in a move that could set off a renewed political crisis in the small Balkan nation.
- Colombia Probes Voter Registration Cyberattacks Traced to Russia's Allies VOA 15 Mar 2018 -- Colombian government and military officials say the government is investigating tens of thousands of cyberattacks on the country's voter registration systems, and traced the incidents to Russia's key allies in the region.
- Slovak Prime Minister Quits Over Reporter's Slaying VOA 15 Mar 2018 -- Slovakia's prime minister, Robert Fico, has resigned after more than two weeks of political turmoil and public protests sparked by the killing of an investigative journalist.
- Slovak Government Resigns Over Slain Journalist Crisis RFE/RL 15 Mar 2018 -- Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his government resigned on March 15 amid a political crisis sparked by the killings of an investigative journalist and his fiancee.
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