14 February 2019 Military News
- Acting Secretary Stresses Iraqi Sovereignty, Security in Visit to Baghdad DoD News 14 Feb 2019 -- On his way to Brussels earlier this week for meetings with his NATO counterparts, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan talked with reporters traveling with him about his visit to Baghdad.
- Afghan Taliban to hold talks with US in Pakistan IRNA 14 Feb 2019 -- Afghan Taliban have said they would hold negotiations with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and US envoy this month in Islamabad to discuss Afghan issue, local media reported.
- US will not unilaterally withdraw from Afghanistan: Pentagon chief Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has told Washington's NATO allies that the Pentagon will not reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan unilaterally.
- 'US, Taliban to hold peace talks in Pakistan' Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- The Afghan Taliban militant group says it is to meet with American representatives in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad next week for a new round of direct negotiations, which have so far excluded the Afghan government itself.
- Taliban Says Will Meet U.S. Negotiators In Pakistan RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- Taliban negotiators say they will meet U.S. representatives in Pakistan on February 18 as part of ongoing Afghan peace talks, although a State Department official said the U.S. team had not yet received an invitation to the talks.
- U.S. Vows 'No Unilateral' Troop Reduction In Afghanistan RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- U.S. acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has said that any potential U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan would be "coordinated" with other NATO members.
- NATO Strongly Supports Afghan Government's Full Involvement In Peace Talks, Alliance Chief Tells RFE/RL RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- NATO is backing the full participation of the Afghan government in peace talks involving U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives to end the 17-year conflict, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg told RFE/RL on February 14 in Brussels.
- US to Pull Out Its Forces From Afghanistan Only With Other Allies - Shanahan Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- The United States will not carry out a unilateral reduction of its troops in Afghanistan, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said at a news conference after a meeting of ministers from the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) in Brussels on Thursday.
- Taliban Extol Trump's 'Positive' Gestures as Helpful for Peace Talks VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- The Taliban are lauding U.S. President Donald Trump for recognizing the insurgent group as "the other side" in the prolonged U.S.-led Afghan war, saying it could help ongoing peace talks with Washington.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Army fields new handgun system to military police Army News 14 Feb 2019 -- The U.S. Army began fielding M17 and M18 Modular Handgun Systems to the Military Police School at Fort Leonard Wood in December to replace the force's aging Beretta M9, a weapon that has been in use since the mid-1980s and is quickly reaching its serviceability limits.
- Soldiers train with new chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protective equipment Army News 14 Feb 2019 -- In the Army, readiness is the No. 1 priority. Soldiers train vigorously to always be ready to deploy in support of the nation's defense. While training efforts focus on weapons proficiency and physical readiness, one critical task is sometimes overlooked, but it's something that can quite possibly save a life.
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting With German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen DoD 14 Feb 2019
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting With French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly DoD 14 Feb 2019
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak DoD 14 Feb 2019
- Special Operations Leaders Testify Before Senate on SOF Global Posture DoD News 14 Feb 2019 -- Calling the breadth and capability of the U.S. Special Operations Forces "astonishing," the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict discussed the global posture of the nation's special operations enterprise during a hearing today on Capitol Hill.
- U.S. 3rd, 10th Fleet Commanders Discuss Dynamic Force Employment at WEST 2019 NNS 14 Feb 2019 -- Commanders of the U.S. 3rd and 10th fleets have emphasized dynamic force employment at WEST 2019 conference at the San Diego Convention Center.
- USS Porter arrives in Rota, Spain for TRAV NNS 14 Feb 2019 -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) returned to Naval Station Rota, Spain, for a scheduled training and maintenance availability (TRAV), Feb. 13.
- Defenders repurpose assets to ensure nuclear surety US Air Force 14 Feb 2019 -- Missile security forces defenders are charged with protecting our nation's assets against all enemies, foreign and domestic. One way they maintain readiness is through training.
- US GQM-163A Coyotes to Be Reworked to Emulate Russian Kalibr Missiles Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- The Coyote rockets are being kitted with solid-fuelled Hercules MK 70m booster rockets; they were originally created to function like Soviet MA-31 missiles for use in US naval target practice.
- Cyber Command Expects Lessons From 2018 Midterms to Apply in 2020 DoD News 14 Feb 2019 -- Efforts to protect the 2018 midterm elections from foreign interference are expected to be studied and reapplied to protect the November 2020 elections, the commander of U.S. Cyber Command said on Capitol Hill today.
- US, Canada Must Upgrade Missile Defenses Against Russia - NORAD Commander Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- The commander of the US agency tasked with detecting strategic attacks on American soil called on the two countries to stop with their endless discussions and begin deploying new systems to counter the Russian military threat.
- United States Files False Claims Act Lawsuit in Connection With MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility Contract US Dept. of Justice 14 Feb 2019 -- The Department of Justice announced today that the United States has filed suit against CB&I AREVA MOX Services LLC (MOX Services) and Wise Services Inc. under the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Act in connection with a contract between MOX Services and the National Nuclear Security Administration relating to the design and operation of the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) at the NNSA Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina.
- News Conference by Acting Secretary Shanahan at the NATO Defense Ministerial, Brussels, Belgium DoD 14 Feb 2019 -- Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan
- NATO Studying Possibility of Increasing Its Presence in Black Sea - Stoltenberg Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- NATO is considering the possibility of providing additional support to Ukraine, as well as expanding its presence in the Black Sea, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels at the closure of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the Level of Defence Ministers.
- Shanahan: NATO Allies Unified in Face of Security Threats DoD News 14 Feb 2019 -- NATO allies have recognized the threats facing the world and are putting their money where their mouths are, plussing up defense spending by $100 billion, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan said at the conclusion of the alliance's defense ministers conference in Brussels today.
- NATO Defence Ministers conclude two days of discussions in Brussels NATO 14 Feb 2019 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wrapped up two days of important discussions between Allied Defence Ministers in Brussels today (Thursday 14 February 2019). Ministers discussed arms control, current operations and missions, burden-sharing, and European defence. The Secretary General described the Alliance as "in good shape" as its approaches its 70th anniversary in Washington in April.
- UK Carrier's First Mission Will Carry US F-35s Through Middle East, Pacific Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- The UK Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier will go on its first mission this year through the disputed South China Sea, carrying US F-35 aircraft, the British Defence Secretary said this week.
- US Intensifies Sabotage Campaign on Iran's Missiles, Space Program – Report Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- The US initiated and "accelerated" a secret program to sabotage Iran's rocket and missile tests as part of a campaign to weaken Tehran's military and suffocate its economy, the New York Times reports.
- Russia to Honour All S-400 Delivery Commitments to India - Ambassador Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- All commitments on the delivery of S-400 air defence missile systems to India under a $5 billion contract will be fully implemented, including deadlines, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev has told Sputnik.
- Japan to Promote Relocation of US Base in Okinawa Regardless of Referendum Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- The Japanese government will continue to promote the relocation of a US military base in Okinawa regardless of the outcome of a referendum in the prefecture on that issue, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday at a press conference.
- Press Availability With Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2019 -- Press Availability by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
- 14 February 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations
- Humanitarian crisis deteriorating in Yemen, UN warns Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- The United Nations has warned that the situation in war-ravaged Yemen is further deteriorating as the Arab country is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world.
- House passes resolution to end US aid for Saudi war on Yemen Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- The US House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted a resolution that obliges President Donald Trump to end Washington's military support for the Saudi-led coalition's war on Yemen, and withdraw almost all US forces engaged in the war in less than a month.
- Yemen Quad Meeting in Warsaw US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2019 -- The text of the following statement was released by the Foreign Ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. The Foreign Ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America met February 13 in Warsaw to discuss the situation in Yemen.
- Tensions Surfacing at Trilateral Summit on Syria VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- Tensions appear to be surfacing between Russia and Turkey just hours into a three-way summit on the Syrian conflict being hosted in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
- Russia, Turkey, Iran Poised to Map Syria's Future VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey are meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi Thursday to discuss the conflict in Syria for the first time since the United States announced its troop withdrawal.
- You can't have Syria safe zone without Assad's consent, Russia tells Turkey Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- Russia has reminded Turkey that it must obtain the consent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government for its plan to create a safe zone in the northeastern part of the conflict-plagued Arab country.
- Russia, Turkey, Iran See U.S. Pullout From Syria As 'Positive Step,' Putin Says RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- Russia, Turkey, and Iran see the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria as a positive step, President Vladimir Putin said after a summit with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts on February 14 in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
- Turkey Wants Russia, Iran to Prevent Terrorist Corridor on Syrian Border Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- Turkey expects assistance from its partners on Astana format talks - Russia and Iran - to prevent the emergence of a terrorist corridor on the Syrian-Turkish border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday at a press conference following three-party talks with his Russian and Iranian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani.
- Turkey Making All Efforts to Prevent Attacks on Hmeymim Military Base - Erdogan Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- Turkey is doing everything possible to prevent militant attacks on the Russian military base in Syria's Hmeymim, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.
- Bomb attack kills 8 Hashd al-Sha'abi fighters in central Iraq Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- Nearly a dozen fighters from the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when a massive bomb explosion struck their convoy in Iraq's north-central province of Salahuddin.
- Situation in Southern Libya US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2019 -- "The United States is concerned by ongoing tensions in southern Libya, which have prolonged the closure of critical oil infrastructure and deprived all Libyans of vital economic resources."
- Myanmar Charter Change Bid Unlikely to Loosen Military Grip on Power VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- Aung San Suu Kyi is unlikely to win any big changes to Myanmar's military-drafted constitution, despite launching her boldest challenge yet to the generals' entrenched role in politics, analysts have said.
- Car bomb attack on Indian military convoy kills dozens in Kashmir Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- At least 44 Indian paramilitary personnel have been killed and dozens more wounded after a bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a military convoy in restive Kashmir.
- At Least 40 Security Personnel Killed in Deadly Indian Kashmir Attack VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- At least 40 paramilitary soldiers were killed Thursday in Indian Kashmir when a bomber rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into a convoy.
- Terrorist Attack on Indian Security Forces Convoy US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2019
- Remarks at the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2019 -- Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
- Co-chairs' Statement on the Ministerial To Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2019
- Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Before Their Meeting US Dept. of State 14 Feb 2019 -- Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
- Venezuelan FM Warns Against Foreign Interference VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced Thursday that he was forming a coalition of diplomats who believe the U.S. and others are violating the U.N. charter against noninterference in member states' affairs.
- Venezuelan Opposition Appoints Board for CITGO - Guaido's US-Based Embassy Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has appointed his own Board of Directors to lead the PDVSA-owned Citgo oil refiner, Guaido's embassy in the United States said in a press release.
- Venezuela to Increase Oil, Gold Production in 2019 Amid Domestic Crisis - Maduro Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- Caracas aims to increase production of gold three times and extract an additional 1 million barrels of oil daily, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday as the Latin American country has been hit with domestic crisis and tough US sanctions.
- Trump to Declare National Emergency as He Signs Border Security Bill VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- U.S. President Donald Trump will sign legislation calling for limited barrier construction along the border with Mexico, but at the same time declare a national emergency to build more of the wall he wants to thwart illegal immigration, the White House said Thursday.
- Former FBI Chief: Law Enforcement Officials Mulled Ousting Trump VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- The Trump administration is firing back at a former Federal Bureau of Investigation acting director who says top federal law enforcement officials considered invoking a constitutional amendment to remove the president after he fired then-FBI Director James Comey.
- US officials discussed if Trump could be removed from office: Ex-FBI deputy director Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- US Justice Department officials were so concerned about President Donald Trump's fitness for office in May 2017 that they discussed whether Trump could be removed from office, according to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
- Judge Rules Manafort Lied To Prosecutors, Grand Jury During Russia Probe RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- A federal judge has ruled that President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, breached his plea agreement by intentionally lying to prosecutors and the grand jury as part of the special counsel's Russia probe.
- Bellingcat Names Possible Third Russian GRU Agent Suspected Of Skripal Poisonings RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- The British-based open-source investigation group Bellingcat said on February 14 that it has established the identity of an alleged Russian military intelligence officer who was in England when former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.
- U.S. Judge Orders Officials To Turn Over Lesin Autopsy Records RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- A Washington judge has ordered the city medical examiner to turn over dozens of autopsy records and other files in the investigation of Mikhail Lesin, the former Russian press minister who was found dead in a D.C. hotel room under suspicious circumstances more than three years ago.
- Russia lashes out at planned US sanctions Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- Russia has lashed out at the United States over a new round of proposed sanctions against Moscow, denouncing the American practice of disrupting trade by other countries as "racketeering."
- U.S. Senators To Try Again With Tougher Russia Sanctions Bill RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has introduced a bill that would impose drastic new sanctions on Russia over its meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine.
- Pompeo: US, Europe Can Cooperate on Iran Despite Differences VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the United States and Europe could still work together on Iran, despite differences over what the United States calls the world's "leading state sponsor of terror."
- Iran Blames U.S., Regional Allies For Suicide Attack On IRGC RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has blamed the United States and its regional allies for a suicide bombing in southeastern Iran that killed 27 members of the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
- Pompeo Calls Iranian Claims Of U.S. Involvement In IRGC Attack 'Outrageous' RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rejected as "outrageous" Iranian claims that the United States and its regional allies are to blame for a suicide bombing in southeastern Iran that killed 27 members of the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
- Pence Calls On European Allies To Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has called on Washington's European allies to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, saying that Iran is the "greatest threat to peace and security" in the Middle East.
- Pakistan must beef up security along Iran border: IRGC Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has urged Pakistan to beef up security measures along its border with Iran following a deadly terrorist attack on a group of IRGC forces in southeastern Iran.
- US VP Pence urges EU to leave Iran nuclear deal, stop busting sanctions Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- US Vice President Mike Pence has urged Washington's European allies to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and accused them of trying to break US sanctions against Tehran.
- US, foreign powers support terror groups, Rouhani says in meeting with Erdogan Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has lashed out at Western states, especially the US, for throwing their support behind terror groups.
- Rouhani: Israel, US root causes of terror in Mideast Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- President Hassan Rouhani has censured a recent deadly terrorist attack against Iranian security forces, describing the US and Israel as the "root causes of terror" in the Middle East region.
- Certain foreign spy agencies had hand in terror attack on Iran forces: Leader Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has denounced a bloody terrorist attack that targeted members of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), saying the spy agencies of certain regional and trans-regional countries certainly had a hand in this crime.
- Trump admin. revives secret plan to sabotage Iran's missiles: Report Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- The administration of US President Donald Trump has reportedly revived a secret plan to sabotage Iran's ballistic missiles as part of its broader plan to weaken the Islamic Republic's military might and harm its economy.
- Israeli Intelligence Finds Iran Two Years from Nuke - If It Resumes Enrichment Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- In a report earlier this week, the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate said that Iran would be capable of producing a nuclear weapon if it were to resume its nuclear program in violation of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, it also found that Iran hasn't violated the JCPOA, as Washington has claimed.
- China punishes 12.77 million discredited entities as of 2018 Global Times 14 Feb 2019 -- The big picture in the construction of China's social credit system via a blacklist has taken initial shape, and losing credit in one place might mean an entity is restricted in other places.
- China, US begin official trade talks in Beijing Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- Negotiators from China and the United States have begun official trade talks in the Chinese capital, Beijing, in an attempt to prevent a festering of an ongoing dispute between their two countries.
- White House Upbeat on Beijing Trade Talks VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- A top White House economic adviser is expressing confidence in the current U.S.-China trade negotiations in Beijing.
- RIP Opportunity: NASA Declares Mars Rover Dead After 15-Year Run Sputnik 14 Feb 2019 -- The US space agency NASA declared the mission of its Opportunity rover on Mars to be complete Wednesday after it failed to answer more than 1,000 wake-up commands. Originally expected to last only 90 days, the Opportunity mission explored the Red Planet for nearly 15 years, making key discoveries about Martian geology.
- Ukraine Deports Russia-Aligned Priest, Strips Citizenship, In Church Rift RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- Ukraine has taken the extraordinary step of deporting a senior cleric of the Moscow-aligned Orthodox Church and stripping him of his citizenship, marking a political escalation in the historic rift that has shaken the Eastern Orthodox world and further raised tensions between Kyiv and Moscow.
- Sudan's opposition groups call on Bashir to step down Press TV 14 Feb 2019 -- Sudan's main opposition groups have jointly demanded the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir over deteriorating living conditions in the African country, which has been the scene of numerous anti-government rallies over the past two months.
- Front-Runner For EU Prosecutor's Post Faces Investigative Hearing At Home In Romania RFE/RL 14 Feb 2019 -- Romania's former chief anticorruption prosecutor has said a widely criticized Romanian agency tasked with investigating magistrates is attempting to harm her bid to become the European Union's public prosecutor.
- UN announces roadmap to Climate Summit in 2019, a 'critical year' for climate action UN News 14 Feb 2019 -- 2019 is a critical year, the "last chance" for the international community to take effective action on climate change, General Assembly President Maria Espinosa said on Thursday, during a briefing to announce the UN's roadmap to the Climate Summit in September.
- UN chief hails victory of 'political will' in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord UN News 14 Feb 2019 -- The UN-brokered agreement between Athens and Skopje to formally recognize the "Republic of North Macedonia", is a welcome, "historical" step that should be supported by regional and international Member States, António Guterres has announced.
- Haiti's Senate Leader Presents Plan to End Crisis VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- "The country is getting ready to explode!" Haiti's newly elected Senate Leader Carl Murat Cantave said during a midday press conference Thursday, in which he denounced the violence that has left at least seven people dead and property damaged.
- Cameroon's Biya Turns 86; Critics Say It's Time for Change VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- Cameroon's President Paul Biya Wednesday celebrated his 86th birthday with supporters organizing lavish parties and opponents calling on him to resign.
- Economy, Insecurity and Corruption Weigh on Nigerian Elections VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- Nigerians go to the polls Saturday to choose a president and legislature for Africa's most populous country, returning two weeks later to pick state governors and local representatives.
- Elections Likely Inevitable in Spain After Congressional Vote VOA 14 Feb 2019 -- Spain is caught in the political crosswinds as a Supreme Court trial of 12 Catalan independence leaders gets underway this week against the backdrop of a congressional defeat for socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who may be forced to call snap elections.
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