19 March 2019 Military News
- Afghan Officials Downplay Feud with Washington VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- An Afghan official in the country's National Security Council Tuesday downplayed a Reuter's report alleging that senior U.S. diplomats have informed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that his national security adviser is no longer welcome in Washington following his blistering public attacks on the U.S Special Representative for Afghan reconciliation last week.
- Taliban Captures 58 Afghan Troops, Defense Ministry Says RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- Afghanistan's Defense Ministry says Taliban militants have captured 58 soldiers after days of fighting during which dozens of troops briefly chased into neighboring Turkmenistan in the latest blow to Kabul's beleaguered security forces.
- U.S. 'To End Contacts' With Afghan Security Adviser Mohib Following Verbal Attack RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- A senior U.S. diplomat has told Afghanistan's president that U.S. officials will no longer deal with his national security adviser, Reuters news agency reports, citing four knowledgeable U.S. and Afghan sources.
- US May Drop Kabul From Talks With Taliban Over Official's Criticism – Report Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- Although the Taliban and the US made "meaningful progress" in the last round of talks, the final agreement is yet to be signed. The next talks are set to take place in Doha, Qatar in late March, but it seems that the Afghan government itself risks being left out.
- US Military Denies Rights Group Allegations of Civilian Casualties in Somalia VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- A human rights group says 14 civilians were killed during five U.S. airstrikes in Somalia in the last two years, an allegation the U.S. military strongly denies.
Defense Policy / Programs
- IMDO and MDA Successfully Complete David's Sling Weapon System Intercept Test Series MDA 19 Mar 2019 -- The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) yesterday successfully completed a test series of the David's Sling Weapon System, a missile defense system that is a central part of lsrael's multilayer antimissile array.
- Securing the High Ground with Partners US Air Force 19 Mar 2019 -- U.S. Air Forces Central Command published its January Airpower Summary March 7. The year 2019 began with airpower supporting joint coalition and partner forces fighting violent extremist groups in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
- B-1B returns to Arnold Air Force Base for store separation testing US Air Force 19 Mar 2019 -- It had been nearly 20 years since a test involving the B-1B Lancer aircraft was conducted by Arnold Engineering Development Complex at Arnold Air Force Base.
- South Korea-based Short Range Air Defense Battery Integrates Counter-UAS into Core Competencies Army News 19 Mar 2019 -- Amid the looming threat of surveillance by Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), 8th Army recently validated the reception, staging, onward movement, and integration of Army Prepositioned Stock (APS) at Camp Carroll, Republic of Korea. In order to support 8th Army and combat the UAS threat, Echo Battery, 6-52 Air and Missile Defense Battalion (E/6-52 AMD BN) established the first garrison Counter-UAS (C-UAS) defense design in the Korean Theater of Operations (KTO).
- DARPA's Director Outlines the Agency's Future Programs DoD News 19 Mar 2019 -- The work at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is about the future, based on a mission of breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security, the DARPA director said March 14.
- Defense Economic Director: Military Spending Important to Communities DoD News 19 Mar 2019 -- In 2013, an economic shock wave hit many states and communities as they began to feel the full effects of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the director of the Defense Department's Office of Economic Adjustment said today.
- Diving deeper into the Fleet Marine Force USMC News 19 Mar 2019 -- Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan -- Air tanks, rebreathers and scuba fins sit on metal shelves lining the dimly-lit hallway of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion compound. Chatter, echoing through the corridor, can be heard over the distinct noise of dive gear being tested and prepared. A doorway at the end of the hallway holds a sign that reads, '3rd Recon Navy divers'.
- RAF Mildenhall KC-135 crew strengthens relationship with Romanian air force US Air Force 19 Mar 2019 -- Airmen with the 351st Air Refueling Squadron and the 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron participated in air refueling training alongside members of the Romanian air force in Bucharest, Romania, March 11-15.
- Obangame Express 2019 Begins NNS 19 Mar 2019 -- Exercise Obangame Express 2019, a U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) exercise in its ninth year, has begun to provide collaborative opportunities among African forces and international partners to address maritime security concerns.
- Surface Force Pacific Commander Charges Fleet to Continue Push to Lethality, Mission Command, Culture of Excellence NNS 19 Mar 2019 -- Commodores, commanders, and surface fleet leaders need to prepare for the high-end fight to meet the challenge of renewed great power competition. That was the message from Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP), during the Commander's Training Symposium (CTS), March 14.
- NAWCAD Lakehurst Adapts Weapons Loader for F-35B NNS 19 Mar 2019 -- Team work and co-location at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst resulted in modified Support Equipment (SE) that gives the F-35B Lightning II more capability.
- NATO Secretary General welcomes the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia NATO 19 Mar 2019 -- Following a meeting with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on Tuesday (19 March 2019), the NATO Secretary General said that the signature of the Accession Protocol for the Republic of North Macedonia in February was a historic moment for the country and for NATO. "Your leadership helped make this happen", he said. "By working with Athens you have shown what courage, commitment and diplomacy can achieve."
- Moscow Rules Out Destroying 9M729 Missile Complexes, Says They Fit INF Treaty Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- Russia will not destroy its 9M729 missile complexes that Washington believes to be in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
- Norway Claims 'Electronic Proof' of Russian GPS Jamming During NATO Drills Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- Allegations of disrupting GPS signals are only a single step in Norway's array of verbal attacks against Russia. Previously, Norway accused Russia of simulating an attack on a US-supported radar in the Barents Sea.
- Lack of Pilots, Operating Costs May Keep Norway's F-35 Fleet Grounded Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- With 52 F-35 fighter jets as a replacement for its ageing F-16 fleet, Norway hopes to build one of the world's most modern air forces. However, there are fears it will be hamstrung by a dramatic lack of pilots and technicians.
- Army launches full-scale assessment in bid to boost military skill levels Global Times 19 Mar 2019 -- Starting in March, the PLA Army organized all officers and soldiers to take a military training grade evaluation. It was the first time the PLA ground forces carried out wide-ranging tests of this kind.
- Germany Plans to Cut Military Budget in Spite of US Calls to Reach NATO Target Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- Berlin's failure to meet the alliance's agreement to spend 2% of GDP on defence has been a source of tension between Germany and the US. Angela Merkel earlier pledged to boost military spending up to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2024. But the budget plan, introduced in Berlin, suggests that the expenditures will be decreasing after a rise next year.
- President Tsai confirms Taiwan seeking to buy F-16Vs from U.S. CNA 19 Mar 2019 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) confirmed Tuesday that her administration has made a formal request to the United States to purchase F-16 Viper fighter jets after an overall evaluation of Taiwan's defense needs.
- Russia, Egypt Did Not Sign Contracts for Aircraft Delivery in Late 2018 Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- Russia and Egypt did not sign contracts for aircraft supply in the second half of 2018, Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) told Sputnik Tuesday.
- Taking China's Cues India Begins 1st-Ever Military Drill with 17 African Nations Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- China with a view to showcasing its military prowess had earlier organised a China-Africa Defence and Security Forum in 2018 that involved 50 African nations.
- Israel, Greece to Build Radar on Crete Amid Rapprochement– Reports Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- The two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as Cyprus, have been boosting their ties, strengthening military and economic cooperation, including the planned construction of an East Med underwater pipeline with the estimated cost of $8 billion.
- 19 March 2019 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 19 Mar 2019
- China 'to build island city' in South China Sea, US cries foul Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- China says it plans to construct an "island city" in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, in a move that has sparked the United States' objection.
- US-Backed Force Says It's in Control of IS Syria Encampment VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- Hundreds of Islamic State fighters making a last stand for the terror group's self-declared caliphate lost control of their "tent city" in the northeastern Syrian town of Baghuz, in what U.S.-backed forces described as a significant blow.
- Turkish President Claims Iran Joins Military Offensive Against Kurdish Separatists RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- Turkey has repeated its claim that it and Iran are jointly carrying out a military operation against Kurdish separatists, although semiofficial Iranian media quoted the military as denying it was involved.
- India's NSA Vows Retaliation on Kashmir Attack Amid Overnight Pakistan Firing Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was speaking at a function commemorating the 80th foundation day of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). It was a convoy belonging to this paramilitary force that endured a terror attack in Kashmir in mid-February. The attack claimed the lives of 40 police personnel.
- Trump renews call on Venezuela military to end support for Maduro Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has renewed his call on the Venezuelan military forces to end their support for the country's President Nicolas Maduro and his government.
- Venezuelan Opposition Seizes Control of 3 Diplomatic Buildings in US Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- Venezuela's opposition has taken control of three diplomatic facilities in the United States and will attempt to obtain further US-based assets in the near future, Carlos Vecchio, opposition leader Juan Guaido's envoy to the US, told reporters on Monday.
- Sanctions Against Venezuelan Gold Sector US Dept. of State 19 Mar 2019 -- Today, the United States takes necessary actions to prevent the former Maduro regime from further plundering Venezuela's assets and natural resources.
- Treasury Sanctions Venezuela's State Gold Mining Company and its President for Propping Up Illegitimate Maduro Regime US Treasury 19 Mar 2019 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated CVG Compania General de Mineria de Venezuela CA, or Minerven, the Venezuelan state-run ferrous metals mining company, and its President, Adrian Antonio Perdomo Mata, targeting the illicit gold operations that have continued to prop up the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro.
- US slaps fresh sanctions against Venezuelan govt. Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- The United States has imposed fresh sanctions against the Venezuelan government, now targeting a state-owned mining company.
- Iran, Russia FMs vow efforts to help resolve Venezuela crisis Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, have expressed their readiness to work towards the settlement of the Venezuelan crisis through political approaches.
- Guaido-led opposition occupies Venezuelan diplomatic properties in US Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- Representatives of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared "Interim President" Juan Guaido have occupied three of the country's diplomatic properties in the United States.
- No Agreement On Maduro After U.S.-Russia Talks On Venezuela RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- The United States and Russia have held "useful" and "substantive" talks on Venezuela, but the two sides remain split on how to resolve the South American country's crisis, according to the U.S. special representative Elliott Abrams.
- Cyclone Idai: emergency getting 'bigger by the hour', warns UN food agency UN News 19 Mar 2019 -- The full scale of the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai in south-west Africa is becoming clearer, the UN said on Tuesday, warning that the emergency "is getting bigger by the hour".
- UN Calls Cyclone Idai One of Southern Hemisphere's Worst Storms VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- Cyclone Idai may be one of the worst weather disasters ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, U.N. experts say, with Mozambique suffering the brunt of the storm.
- Lebanese security forces detain dual national on charge of espionage for Israel's Mossad Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- Lebanese intelligence forces have arrested a Lebanese-Canadian man on charges of spying for Israel's Mossad spy agency and collaboration with the regime's authorities through gathering intelligence about the Hezbollah resistance movement and missing Israeli pilot Ron Arad.
- N Korea Calls Back Top Diplomats From UN, China Amid Unresolved Issues With US Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- In late February, the second high-level summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un finished in Hanoi without an agreement on denuclearisation being reached.
- North Korea, US Spar Over Sanctions VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- North Korea believes there are no legitimate reasons to maintain sanctions against the country since it has not conducted nuclear and missile testing for well over a year, a North Korean diplomat said Tuesday.
- Exclusive: US Vows to Pursue Ship Owners Who Violate Iran Oil Sanctions VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- A senior U.S. official says Washington is monitoring ships involved in clandestine transfers of Iranian oil and will hold anyone involved in such transfers responsible for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.
- South Korea quadruples imports of Iranian oil: Yonhap Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- South Korea's imports of Iranian oil more than quadrupled in February from a month ago, nearing levels before US sanctions on Tehran, Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday, citing government data.
- Iranians Need Jobs, Not Curses, U.S. Diplomat Tells Rohani RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- A senior U.S. diplomat has told President Hassan Rohani that he should give Iranians jobs and employment instead of urging them to curse the United States for their country's deteriorating economic situation.
- Universities respond actively after Xi stresses ideological and political theory courses Global Times 19 Mar 2019 -- Universities across China have positively responded to remarks made by President Xi Jinping at a Monday symposium in Beijing, where he stressed efforts to implement the Party's education policy and the kind of ideological education the country needs and should promote.
- Xi underscores firm implementation of major reforms Global Times 19 Mar 2019 -- President Xi Jinping stressed firm implementation of major reforms at the seventh meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform Tuesday.
- Xi stresses ideological and political education in schools People's Daily 19 Mar 2019 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday stressed efforts to implement the Party's education policy and foster virtue through education with the thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.
- Rights Activists Denounce China's Xinjiang White Paper VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- China has released a lengthy white paper that analysts say seeks to justify its anti-terrorism fight and de-radicalization measures in the western region of Xinjiang, where up to 1.5 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are estimated to have been forced into detention in what Beijing calls "vocational training centers."
- Italy Set to Join China's Belt & Road Initiative VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- Italy is expected to join China's Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, when Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives Thursday in Rome.
- Kazakh President Nazarbaev Abruptly Resigns, But Will Retain Key Roles RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has abruptly resigned after nearly 30 years in office, but will continue to head the ruling party and keep his lifetime post as chairman of the influential Security Council.
- Nazarbaev's Decision To Leave Office Just Might Be His Greatest Legacy RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev announced on state TV on March 19 that he will step down, ending nearly 30 years in office.
- Kazakh President Nazarbayev Resigns Sputnik 19 Mar 2019 -- President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation on Tuesday.
- Kazakh leader Nazarbayev resigns after 30 years in power IRNA 19 Mar 2019 -- Kazakhstan's 79-year-old President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned on Tuesday after three decades in power, saying his oil-rich Central Asian nation now needed "a new generation of leaders".
- Kazakh president unexpectedly resigns after three decades in power Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- Kazakhstan's president unexpectedly ends his nearly-30-year-long reign over the country, naming an ally to finish off his term.
- Explainer: Kazakh President Nazarbaev Resigns, But Is He Really Leaving? RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- Having ruled Kazakhstan with an authoritarian grip since the 1980s, President Nursultan Nazarbaev shocked many when he unexpectedly announced his resignation on March 19.
- MbS absent from key meetings, stripped of some financial powers: Report Press TV 19 Mar 2019 -- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reportedly been stripped of some of his powers and has not attended a series of high-profile ministerial and diplomatic meetings in the kingdom over the last fortnight, fueling speculation of a growing rift between the controversial prince and the king.
- Tsai focuses on national issues amid presidency challenges CNA 19 Mar 2019 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) urged her administration Tuesday to put more emphasis on national issues as she fights for a second term after an influential Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member threw his hat into the ring for the 2020 presidential nomination.
- 2 nuclear power-related referendum proposals pass initial screening CNA 19 Mar 2019 -- The Central Election Commission (CEC) on Tuesday passed an initial screening on two referendum proposals related to a mothballed nuclear power plant in New Taipei, sending them to the next stage, which requires a check on their proposers by household registration offices.
- First peaceful transfer of power in DR Congo 'an extraordinary opportunity' for advancing rights UN News 19 Mar 2019 -- The election of President Felix Tshisekedi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), marks "an extraordinary opportunity" for the country to advance civil and political rights, said a senior UN official, on Tuesday at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
- Algerian Doctors, Students Protest as New Deputy PM Promises Change VOA 19 Mar 2019 -- Algeria's new Deputy Prime Minister Ramtane Lamamra says that President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika has vowed to hand over power to whoever is elected to succeed him, following a planned national dialogue conference under the auspices of former U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. Lamamra said a new constitution and other changes to the current regime will be enacted, followed by elections, which have been postponed until next year.
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