13 February 2020 Military News
- U.S., Taliban Negotiate 7-Day Proposal for Reduction in Violence DoD News 13 Feb 2020 -- The United States and the Taliban have agreed to a proposal for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan, and the Defense Department is working with allies on the path forward, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said.
- Pentagon Chief Says U.S., Taliban Seal Seven-Day Plan For Decline In Violence RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a "proposal" for a week-long scaling-down in violence, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has told journalists in Brussels.
- AFRICOM Commander Visits Kenya, Somalia, to Emphasize Partnership, Security AFRICOM 13 Feb 2020 -- Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command, completed a two-day trip to East Africa to personally assess the security situation at the Kenyan Defense Force installation at Manda Bay, Kenya, before continuing to Somalia to meet with senior Somali officials to discuss the impact of broader U.S. government programs taking place in Somalia.
- AFRICOM ready for Flintlock 2020 AFRICOM 13 Feb 2020 -- Approximately 1,600 service members from more than 30 African and partner nations will participate in Flintlock 2020 at multiple locations in Mauritania and Senegal from Feb. 17-28, 2020.
Defense Policy / Programs
- U.S. Senate Advances Resolution Limiting Trump's Actions Against Iran RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate has advanced a bipartisan measure intended to limit President Donald Trump's ability to take military action against Iran.
- Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Meeting With Ukrainian Minister of Defense Andriy Zagorodnyuk DoD 13 Feb 2020
- Army budget request eyes $2B boost for modernization Army News 13 Feb 2020 -- The Army proposes to add over $2 billion to its modernization efforts next fiscal year that will help continue to develop hypersonic missiles, future aircraft and combat vehicles.
- Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper Press Availability in Brussels, Belgium DoD 13 Feb 2020 -- Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper
- Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper Press Conference at NATO Defense Ministerial DoD 13 Feb 2020 -- Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper
- Leaders Discuss Nuclear Modernization, Hypersonics Development DoD News 13 Feb 2020 -- The nuclear triad of intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines and strategic bombers, as well as the nuclear command and control system, are at the core of U.S. defense strategy, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command told a Senate panel.
- DOD Officials Warn of Increased Threat From Weapons of Mass Destruction DoD News 13 Feb 2020 -- The threat posed by the use and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is rising, a Defense Department official told a House Armed Services Committee panel.
- Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Kansas City (LCS 22) NNS 13 Feb 2020 -- The Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Kansas City (LCS 22) on February 12 during a ceremony at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.
- USS Normandy Seizes Illegal Weapons in Arabian Sea NNS 13 Feb 2020 -- On Feb. 9, USS Normandy (CG 60), while conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations, boarded a dhow in accordance with international law and discovered a large cache of weapons.
- Keel Laid for Future USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7) NNS 13 Feb 2020 -- A keel laying ceremony was held Feb. 12 for the future USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7), the second ship of the Navy's Navajo class of Towing, Salvage, and Rescue vessels. The ceremony was held near Gulf Island Shipyard at the Houma Terrebonne Civic Center.
- USNS Crew Rescues Marine Life in Arabian Sea NNS 13 Feb 2020 -- Merchant Marines aboard the dry cargo ship USNS William Mclean (T-AKE 12) successfully rescued two sea turtles from abandoned fishing nets Feb. 3 in the Arabian Sea.
- U.S. Navy Strengthen Bonds with Regional Partners through Aviation during Singapore Airshow 2020 NNS 13 Feb 2020 -- U.S. Navy Strengthen Bonds with Regional Partners through Aviation during Singapore Airshow 2020
- Joint forces kick off Cope North 2020 US Air Force 13 Feb 2020 -- More than 100 aircraft will soar over the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia as U.S. forces, Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) collaborates during exercise Cope North, Feb. 12-28.
- Allies agree to enhance NATO Mission Iraq, discuss Russian missiles and mission in Afghanistan NATO 13 Feb 2020 -- NATO Defence Ministers wrapped up two days of discussions in Brussels on Thursday (13 February 2020) addressing key issues including NATO's training mission in Iraq, support for Afghanistan, and the challenge posed by Russia's missile systems.
- NATO Ministers To Discuss Defenses Against Russia, Future Of Afghanistan RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- NATO's training and support mission in Afghanistan and the challenge posed by Russia's missile systems are expected to top the agenda of the second day of a summit of the alliance's defense ministers.
- Russia To Deploy New Air-Defense Equipment To Base In Kyrgyzstan RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- Kyrgyzstan says Russia plans to install new air- and missile-defense equipment and drones at its air base near the former Soviet republic's northern city of Kant.
- U.S. meddling forces Philippines to dump military agreement People's Daily 13 Feb 2020 -- The spokesman of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday that Manila's move to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States "is in the right direction."
- Turkmen President Fires National Security Minister Weeks After Rebuke RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has dismissed National Security Minister Yaylym Berdiev less than a month after he publicly rebuked him for perceived shortcomings in his performance.
- 13 February 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 13 Feb 2020
- Transitional justice processes critical to lasting peace, Security Council hears UN News 13 Feb 2020 -- For countries to move forward after conflict or mass atrocities, suffering must be acknowledged and justice served, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told the Security Council on Thursday.
- UN Adopts Cease-Fire Resolution For Libya As Russia Abstains RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution calling for a "lasting cease-fire" in war-torn Libya, as Russia abstained from the vote following its objections to the language of the text.
- Year-old peace agreement must be implemented for 'lasting peace' in Central African Republic UN News 13 Feb 2020 -- Following a visit to the Central African Republic, a UN independent expert said that everyone must take all measures necessary to effectively implement the peace agreement that was signed in Bangui a year ago.
- Claiming Massive Fraud, Cameroon Opposition Challenges Ruling Party Landslide Victory VOA 13 Feb 2020 -- Claiming massive fraud, Cameroonian opposition political parties are calling for the results of the February 9 local elections that gave the ruling People's Democratic Movement of long-serving President Paul Biya a landslide victory to be discarded. Meanwhile, results of the parliamentary polls are still expected.
- Death Toll In Ethnic Clashes In Kazakhstan's South Rises To 11 RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- The death toll in violent ethnic clashes last week between Kazakhs and ethnic Dungans in Kazakhstan's south, which shocked the Central Asian nation, has risen to 11.
- UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Database Report Release US Dept. of State 13 Feb 2020
- UN list of settlement-linked firms gets Palestinian praise, Israeli rejection People's Daily 13 Feb 2020 -- The Palestinians hailed on Wednesday the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) for releasing a list of companies that do business in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, while Israel denounced the list as "biased" and "shameful."
- Myanmar Navy Detains 50 Rohingya Who Were Trying to Leave Country Radio Free Asia 13 Feb 2020 -- The Myanmar Navy has detained roughly 50 Rohingya refugees at sea in southern Myanmar's Ayeyarwady region, while local authorities have apprehended five suspected human traffickers who allegedly helped them try to leave the country for an unknown destination, a local official said Thursday.
- Netherlands Rejected Moscow's Bid To Try MH17 Suspects In Russia RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- The Netherlands has rejected an offer by Moscow to prosecute three Russian men suspected of involvement in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a disaster that cost the lives of nearly 300 people.
- Ukrainian Envoy Says Russian Helicopter Fired On Navy Vessel In Black Sea In 2018 RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- A ballistics test has found that a Russian combat helicopter allegedly fired an armor-piercing projectile at one of the three Ukrainian Navy vessels in the Black Sea in 2018 that Russia impounded, said Ukraine's deputy envoy to international organizations in Vienna, Ihor Lossovskiy.
- Message to the Congress on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Southern Border of the United States The White House 13 Feb 2020
- Text of a Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Southern Border of the United States The White House 13 Feb 2020
- Chinese Telecommunications Conglomerate Huawei and Subsidiaries Charged in Racketeering Conspiracy and Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets US Dept. of Justice 13 Feb 2020 -- A superseding indictment was returned yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Huawei), the world's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and two U.S. subsidiaries with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
- Chinese military never engages in cyber espionage: Defense Spokesperson PLA Daily 13 Feb 2020 -- "The Chinese military has never engaged in any form of cyber theft. The US accusation is groundless and totally hegemonic," said Senior Colonel Wuqian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, in a written statement published on Thursday.
- Senior official named for HK, Macao agency Global Times 13 Feb 2020 -- China announced on Thursday the appointment of Xia Baolong, vice chairman of China's top political advisory body, as head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO) of the State Council.
- Homemade strategic cargo plane Y-20 joins battle against epidemic People's Daily 13 Feb 2020 -- China's domestically developed large transport aircraft Y-20 for the first time conducted a large-scale military operation in a situation other than war, arriving Thursday in Wuhan with medical reinforcements and supplies to join the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak.
- China Under Xi Jinping is a 'Dystopian Digital Surveillance State': Rights Group Radio Free Asia 13 Feb 2020 -- Chinese president Xi Jinping is building a "dystopian digital surveillance state" to promote his brand of totalitarian rule, according to a recent report by a human rights group.
- China Puts Hardline Ally of President Xi Jinping in Charge of Hong Kong, Macau Radio Free Asia 13 Feb 2020 -- The ruling Chinese Communist Party has demoted its official in charge of Hong Kong following months of mass protests in the city, appointing a hardline senior official who presided over the tearing down of crosses and the forcible demolition of churches in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
- Iran's Commitments to the Financial Action Task Force US Dept. of State 12 Feb 2020 -- The United States calls on Iran to fulfill its commitments to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and adhere to the FATF's anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism standards that protect the international financial system from illicit finance.
- Iran Election Campaign Starts With Thousands Barred From Running RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- The weeklong campaigning for Iran's parliamentary elections kicked off with more than 7,000 candidates vying for the 290 seats in the legislature, state TV reported on February 13.
- Myanmar Military Shrugs Off President's Call to Limit Role in Politics Radio Free Asia 13 Feb 2020 -- Myanmar President Win Myint on Thursday warned the country's powerful military to limit its involvement in politics, citing a mandate issued decades ago by independence hero General Aung San, during a ceremony inaugurating a new statue of the general and father of leader Ang San Suu Kyi in the capital Naypyidaw.
- Joint Statement of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, the United States and the World Bank US Treasury 13 Feb 2020 -- Ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and their delegations met with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of the World Bank, participating as observers, to continue negotiations on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), in Washington, D.C. on February 12-13, 2020.
- Defense Boycotts Cambodian Opposition Chief's Trial Over Introduction of New Evidence Radio Free Asia 13 Feb 2020 -- The entire legal team representing Cambodia's opposition leader Kem Sokha stormed out of his treason trial on Thursday, saying they were denied the right to speak on his behalf during the proceedings after being presented with volumes of new evidence by prosecutors only a day earlier.
- Less Russia, More Europe On Belarus's New Symbol-To-Be RFE/RL 13 Feb 2020 -- Amid a push from Russia for closer ties, Belarus is considering adopting a new national coat of arms that pointedly looks west.
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