15 February 2019 Military News
- Acting Secretary Pleased With Progress of Coalition to Defeat ISIS DoD News 15 Feb 2019 -- Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan said he is pleased with the progress of the coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and he reiterated America's steadfast support for the effort.
- US general says America not 'winning' in Syria Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- The US general in charge of special operations forces has cautioned against talk of "winning" against the Daesh terrorist group in Syria, contradicting President Donald Trump's claim that the group had been defeated.
- US 'may pull some 1,000 troops from Afghanistan' Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- The United States may reduce the number of American troops in Afghanistan by at least 1,000, a US general says, attributing the decision to an efficiency drive by a new commander of NATO forces in the Asian country.
- U.S. General Says 1,000 Troops Expected To Be Withdrawn From Afghanistan RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- The U.S. military is expected to trim troop levels in Afghanistan by more than 1,000 soldiers, a U.S. general told Reuters on February 15.
- Afghanistan Listed As Among Most Dangerous For Infants In Conflict Zones RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- The Save the Children International charity says at least 100,000 babies die every year because of armed conflict and related effects, with Afghanistan listed as among the 10 worst countries to be a child.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan's Meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and Defense Minister Levan Izoria DoD 15 Feb 2019
- Engagement With African Nations Must Matter to Americans DoD News 15 Feb 2019 -- "Africa matters."
- Annual Force Protection Exercise Enhances, Tests Navy Readiness NNS 15 Feb 2019 -- The Navy's largest annual force protection exercise, which included a real-world response, concluded Feb. 15.
- Chief of Naval Operations Shares Vision of Maritime Superiority with NPS NNS 15 Feb 2019 -- The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson returned to the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) to impart his vision of overcoming the biggest challenges facing today's Navy during the latest Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture (SGL), Feb. 13.
- NAVIFOR Participates in WEST 2019 NNS 15 Feb 2019 -- Vice Adm. Brian B. Brown, commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), discussed the importance and formation of the Information Warfare Enterprise (IWE), Feb. 13 at the WEST 2019, San Diego Convention Center.
- Seabees Deploy With Additive Manufacturing Capabilities NNS 15 Feb 2019 -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 deployed for the first time in mid-February to 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet AOR's with organic 3-D printing capabilities.
- SPAWAR Fosters Innovation, Industry Engagement at WEST 2019 NNS 15 Feb 2019 -- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) joined 10 other Navy commands at the U.S. Navy Information Warfare (IW) Pavilion to demonstrate the critical teamwork required in today's information driven environment during WEST 2019, Feb. 13-15, at the San Diego Convention Center.
- Preparedness, Practical Training Highlighted as NDW Wraps Up Citadel Shield/Solid Curtain NNS 15 Feb 2019 -- Naval District Washington (NDW) concluded its participation in exercise Citadel Shield-Solid Curtain (CS-SC) 2019, Feb. 15.
- Conventional Rotary Launcher upgrade tested US Air Force 15 Feb 2019 -- An upgrade to the B-52 Stratofortress and the Conventional Rotary Launcher was tested, Feb. 11. The change is designed to increase mission flexibility and make the B-52 more lethal in a combat environment.
- B-52s lead joint training across Hawaiian Islands US Air Force 15 Feb 2019 -- Air and ground force elements came together across the Hawaiian Islands this week to jointly participate in close air support (CAS) training with U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
- US Air Force Mulls Boosting Space Military Capabilities at New Mexico Base Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- The US Air Force is preparing to expand facilities for its space rapid response military operations at a base in the state of New Mexico, two senators said in a press release on Thursday.
- NATO Secretary General attends the Munich Security Conference NATO 15 Feb 2019 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg joined other world leaders in Germany on Friday (15 February 2019) to participate in the Munich Security Conference. He addressed the conference on the importance of strong multinational institutions and agreements, deterrence and defence, and transatlantic cooperation. The Munich Security Conference follows the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels where Allies discussed a wide range of security issues, including Russia's violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
- Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Munich Security Conference NATO 15 Feb 2019 -- (As delivered)
- There is No Need to Create EU Army - Swedish Defence Minister Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist said Friday he did not support the idea of creating a unified pan-European army, which was earlier proposed by some European politicians.
- Japan scrambles jets as Russian bombers fly by Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- Russian nuclear-capable bombers have carried out a routine flight over international waters in the Sea of Japan, with Tokyo nevertheless responding to that passage.
- Okinawa set for referendum on US base relocation Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- Official campaigning has kicked off in Japan's Okinawa for a referendum on a controversial plan to relocate a US airbase, which has long been a source of concern for residents on the tiny island.
- China mulls criminal law amendments to curb online military-related slander Global Times 15 Feb 2019 -- China is considering including a proposal to amendments to the country's Criminal Law to curb military-related rumors online to better protect the image of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), PLA Daily reported on Friday.
- Senior official calls for advances in strict governance over military Global Times 15 Feb 2019 -- A senior military official on Friday called on the military to make new advances in the work of political and legal affairs and ensure strict governance over the military.
- Taiwan to talk with Google over exposed missile position CNA 15 Feb 2019 -- National security authorities will talk with Google over satellite imagery showing the exact locations of Taiwan's Patriot missiles on Google Map, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said Friday.
- Google Accidentally Reveals Locations of Secret Taiwan Missile Sites Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- Google's latest 3D rendered maps of four Taiwanese cities have inadvertently revealed the locations of key missile defense locations on the self-governing island, including a previously-secret Patriot missile base. Now, Taipei is rushing to push the tech giant to blur the maps over those sites.
- Sources Say EU Set To Extend Belarus Arms Embargo RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- EU officials have agreed to extend for another year the bloc's arms embargo against Belarus, several sources familiar with the negotiations who are not authorized to speak on the record told RFE/RL on February 15.
- Press Availability With Icelandic Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2019 -- Press Availability by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
- 15 February 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Feb 2019
- New UN special envoy hopes to convene Syrian constitutional committee soon Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen hopes to convene the first session of a UN-sponsored Syrian Constitutional Committee in the Swiss city of Geneva "as soon as possible" in a bid to begin a viable peace process to the country's nearly eight-year-old conflict.
- Russia Urges US, Militant Leaders to Stop Holding Refugees in Rukban Camp - MoD Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- According to the Russian military, various militants are keeping people in the camp by force, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has previously noted that terrorists and smugglers in the area are using innocent people as human shields.
- Biggest ever UN aid delivery in Syria provides relief to desperate civilians UN News 15 Feb 2019 -- The biggest UN humanitarian convoy yet to operate inside Syria has successfully distributed aid to 40,000 desperate people in a hard-to-access desert camp near the country's southern border with Jordan, the Organization announced on Friday.
- Islamic State Making Last Stand Behind Women, Children VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- Fighters and families with the Islamic State terror group are clinging to one last sliver of land next to the Euphrates River in Syria, using women, children and possible hostages as human shields in an effort to postpone defeat.
- Peace Remains Elusive in Libya VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- On February 17, eight years ago, Libyans rose up and launched a rebellion that led to the ouster of autocrat Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The high expectations of what life would be like without Gadhafi are no nearer being met – hope has given way to despair with the north African country frozen in a multi-sided conflict dividing regions, towns and involving dozens of rival militias.
- United States Announces New Humanitarian Assistance at the Launch of the Joint Response Plan for Bangladesh US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2019
- UN and partners appeal for $920 million to meet 'dire needs' of Rohingya refugees UN News 15 Feb 2019 -- With more than 745,000 Rohingya having fled violence in Myanmar to settle in Bangladesh, joining roughly 200,000 others already sheltering there, United Nations aid agencies and partners launched an appeal on Friday to help meet their "dire needs".
- $920M UN Appeal Aims at Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- U.N. aid agencies are seeking $920 million to provide lifesaving aid for more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees who fled violence and persecution in Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh.
- 30 Years Later, Russia Aims To Rewrite The Soviet War In Afghanistan RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- When a legislative body formed in the reformist Gorbachev era gathered in Moscow in December 1989 to reflect on the U.S.S.R.'s failed war in Afghanistan, its assessment of the military effort that had left 15,000 Soviet troops and millions of Afghans dead was unequivocal.
- Gromov on Afghanistan: US Did Everything to Halt Soviet Pullout or Ensure Losses Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- The 15th of February marks the 30th anniversary of the pullout of Soviet troops from the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The Soviet-Afghan War lasted from December 1979 to February 1989, with troops from the Soviet Army and its allied Afghan government forces fighting against the Mujahideen, supported by the United States and its allies.
- Sources Say EU Ready With Sanctions Over Russia's Detention Of Ukraine Seamen RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- EU diplomats have agreed to impose asset freezes and visa bans on a number of Russians involved in the capture and detention of 24 Ukrainian seamen during an incident near the Kerch Strait in November, several sources familiar with the negotiations who are not authorized to speak on the record have told RFE/RL.
- India summons Pakistan envoy, vows revenge after Kashmir bombing Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- India has summoned Islamabad's ambassador after a Pakistani-based militant group took responsibility for a deadly car bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
- India Blames Pakistan, Demands Action After Kashmir Attack RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- India has demanded that Pakistan crack down on terror groups operating from its territory after a deadly suicide bombing claimed by a Pakistan-based Islamist group killed 44 Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir.
- New Delhi Summons Pakistani Envoy Following Attack on Indian Military - Source Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- A suicide attack on an Indian military convoy on Thursday left dozens dead in Indian-controlled Kashmir. According to police, all 44 people in one of the buses in the convoy were killed in the attack, with another person from another vehicle also being killed in the blast, the IANS news agency reported.
- India Promises Strong Response to Kashmir Attack VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed a strong response to a deadly attack on security personnel in Indian Kashmir as New Delhi said that there was "incontrovertible evidence" that Pakistan had a "direct hand" in the assault and called for its complete isolation.
- India's Modi: 'Terrorists Will Pay' for Kashmir Bombing VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- Speaking Friday about the car bombing in Indian Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the "terrorists and their patrons have committed a big mistake and will pay a big price for this."
- Two States 'side-by-side' is the 'peaceful and just solution' for Israel-Palestine conflict: Guterres UN News 15 Feb 2019 -- A "peaceful and just solution" to the Israel-Palestine conflict can "only be achieved" through two States "living side-by-side in peace and security", United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated on Friday
- 'Endemic' sexual violence surging in South Sudan: UN human rights office UN News 15 Feb 2019 -- A surge in sexual violence in South Sudan's Unity state targeting victims as young as eight years old, has prompted a call from the UN human rights office, OHCHR, for urgent Government measures to protect victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.
- Treasury Sanctions Officials Aligned with Former President Nicolas Maduro and Involved in Repression and Corruption US Treasury 15 Feb 2019 -- "Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five officials aligned with illegitimate former President Nicolas Maduro, who continue to repress democracy and democratic actors in Venezuela and engage in significant corruption and fraud against the people of Venezuela."
- US ratchets up pressure on Venezuela's Maduro Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- The United States has built up pressure on the Venezuelan government by sanctioning five top officials close to President Nicolas Maduro.
- China urges non-interference in Venezuela affairs Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- China has urged non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, urging a negotiated solution to the political dispute in the country.
- US preparing for military action in Venezuela: Cuba Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- The United States is moving its special forces closer to Venezuela as part of a covert plan to stage military intervention in the South American country, which has been engulfed by unrest over the past weeks.
- Maduro Reveals Venezuelan Foreign Minister Secretly Met With US Envoy Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- The two diplomats reportedly had two meetings recently, despite US President Trump's hostile rhetoric and a round of sanctions imposed on Venezuela's national oil company.
- Venezuelan Supreme Court Annuls Opposition's PDVSA, Citgo Board Appointments Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice nullified the appointment by the country's opposition of new board members of the state-owned PDVSA energy company and Citgo oil refiner, owned by it, and blocked these individuals' bank accounts, prohibiting them from leaving the country.
- U.S. Sanctions on Venezuelan Individuals and Entities US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2019 -- The United States remains steadfast in its support of Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaido, the transitional government, and the Venezuelan people. We will continue to use the full weight of U.S. economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy.
- Caracas Establishes Intl UN Group to Oppose Foreign Meddling - Venezuelan FM Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- Venezuela, Russia and a number of other countries have established a working group at the United Nations to oppose foreign meddling in the Latin American country's affairs, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced on Thursday.
- Trump declares national emergency to build US-Mexico border wall Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to bypass congressional approval and secure funding for the construction of his controversial wall on the US-Mexico border.
- DOD Statement on the President's Declaration of a National Emergency on the Southern Border DoD 15 Feb 2019 -- "The president has declared a national emergency on the southern border. The president invoked sections 12302, 284(b)(7), and 2808 of Title 10, U.S. Code, and requires the use of the armed forces to respond to this emergency through support to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its efforts to secure the southern border."
- Remarks by President Trump on the National Security and Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border The White House 15 Feb 2019
- Letter From Bulgarian Intelligence Refutes Talk That 'Umbrella Murder' Victim Georgi Markov Was A Spy RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- A Bulgarian historian has uncovered a document contradicting communist-era rumors that exiled dissident Georgi Markov worked as an agent abroad for Bulgarian foreign intelligence before his 1978 assassination.
- The Week In Russia: 'Putin Lived, Putin Lives, Putin Will Live' RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- Last spring, longtime Kremlin aide and "managed democracy" architect Vladislav Surkov said Russia faces 100 years or more of geopolitical solitude -- and suggested that's a good thing. Now he's predicting it will be "Putin's state" for just as long, comparing the "supreme ruler" to leaders like Ataturk, Lenin, and the U.S. Founding Fathers.
- Hanoi Summit Sparks Optimism, But Called Moment of Truth VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- The second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in roughly two weeks is being seen by some as cause for optimism, but also as a moment of truth.
- FM spokesman: Warsaw conference's final statement is 'useless' IRNA 15 Feb 2019 -- Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi on Friday described the final statement of Middle East security summit in Warsaw as 'useless document' which lacked any 'credibility or decisiveness'.
- UN Security Council condemns 'in strongest terms' attack on IRGC forces Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- The United Nations Security Council has condemned "in the strongest terms" a "heinous and cowardly" terrorist attack in southeastern Iran, which killed 27 IRGC personnel and wounded 13 others Wednesday.
- Transatlantic Rift Laid Bare as US Rebukes EU Allies Over Iran Deal VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- The United States has called on Europe to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Washington pulled out of last year.
- MAC stresses need to tighten China visit rules by ex-officials CNA 15 Feb 2019 -- Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) head Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) defended a controversial proposal to limit visits by retired high-ranking Taiwanese military and political figures to China, saying it was necessary to restrict their behavior.
- Taiwan Announces New Phase of Space Program, Hopes for Moon Mission Sputnik 15 Feb 2019 -- Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology has announced that the nation's space program has reached its third phase, during which it hopes to launch 10 satellites ‒ one every 18 months ‒ one of which would orbit the moon.
- China Giving Pakistan $3.5 Billion in Loans, Grants VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- China is promising about $3.5 billion to help bolster Pakistan's dwindling foreign cash reserves and pay for socio-economic development plans undertaken by the country's new government.
- Turkish police believe Khashoggi remains may have been burnt IRNA 15 Feb 2019 -- Turkish police believe the remains of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been burnt, Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu said on Thursday, citing a police report.
- Khashoggi's body possibly burnt in oven at Saudi consul-general's residency: Turkey Press TV 15 Feb 2019 -- Turkish police have discovered a tandoori oven at the Saudi consul-general's residency in Istanbul, suggesting that the body of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been burnt.
- Ukrainian Official Charged With Ordering Anticorruption Activist's Killing RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- A high-ranking regional official suspected of organizing the killing of Ukrainian anticorruption activist Kateryna Handzyuk last year has been arrested.
- Front-Runner For EU Prosecutor Questioned By Controversial Romanian Agency RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- Romania's former chief anticorruption prosecutor was questioned on February 15 by a controversial investigative agency, hours before flying to Brussels for an interview for the newly established job of EU public prosecutor.
- Three Ex-Telia Executives Acquitted In Uzbek Bribery Case RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- Three former executives of telecom giant Telia have been acquitted in Sweden in a high-profile bribery case involving the eldest daughter of late Uzbek President Islam Karimov.
- Kosovo's Thaci Sees 'Good Momentum' For Serbia Deal Despite Disputes RFE/RL 15 Feb 2019 -- Kosovo President Hashim Thaci says he sees "good momentum" in efforts to reach a deal this year to normalize relations with neighbor and rival Serbia despite their differences, according to an interview published on February 14 by the Associated Press.
- Secretary Pompeo's Calls With Nigerian Presidential Candidates President Muhammadu Buhari and Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar US Dept. of State 15 Feb 2019
- 'Maintain calm' and 'exercise patience' UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls UN News 15 Feb 2019 -- As Nigerians get ready to head to the polls on Saturday, the Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), described the pre-election period as "largely, peaceful and participatory", and called for that spirit to prevail through election day and beyond.
- Pompeo Calls Nigerian Candidates Ahead of Election VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Nigeria's two leading candidates for president ahead of Saturday's election and "underscored U.S. support for the Nigerian goal of free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections."
- Haitians Continue to Protest, Despite Plea From President VOA 15 Feb 2019 -- Hundreds of Haitians protested in the streets of the capital, Port- au-Prince, for the ninth consecutive day Friday, despite the president's assurances that he understands their pain and is working toward a solution.
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