19 February 2020 Military News
- Afghan Vice President Tells Supporters To Protest Ghani's Reelection RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum has called on his supporters to take to the streets to protest the reelection of President Ashraf Ghani.
- U.S. Special Envoy, Top EU Diplomat Discuss Taliban Deal With Re-Elected Afghan President RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and re-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met on February 19 to discuss a U.S. deal with Taliban militants on a seven-day reduction in violence.
- 'All Bets Off': Afghanistan Plunges Into Crisis After Losing Presidential Candidate Alleges 'Coup' RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- The long-awaited result of Afghanistan's bitterly disputed presidential election was expected to end months of uncertainty.
- Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM conduct airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists AFRICOM 19 Feb 2020 -- In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a precision airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Wadajir, Somalia, Feb. 19.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Army leaders save $1.2 billion to fund modernization push Army News 19 Feb 2020 -- Army leaders have issued a full list of programs eliminated or reduced during the latest "night court" review, designed to help fund modernization priorities amid the Fiscal Year 2021 budget request.
- Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman and Vice Director of the Joint Staff Rear Adm. William Byrne Jr. Press Briefing DoD 19 Feb 2020 -- Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan R. Hoffman; Vice Director of the Joint Staff Rear Adm. William D. Byrne, Jr.
- Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper Media Availability at Minot AFB DoD 19 Feb 2020 -- Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper; Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Senator Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.
- Joint Exercise to Test Tactical Forces in Cold-Weather Environment DoD News 19 Feb 2020 -- Some U.S. forces stationed in Europe will head north March 2 to participate in Cold Response 2020, a biennial exercise hosted by Norway focusing mostly on operations at the tactical level in cold-weather environments.
- China issues regulations on classified military information PLA Daily 19 Feb 2020 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) signed an order to issue the Regulations on Military Information Classification and Handling Standard. The Regulations will go into effect on Mar. 1, 2020.
- Chinese military adopts new rules against cybersecurity risks Global Times 19 Feb 2020 -- The Chinese military will adopt a new regulation on confidentiality in a move to better manage cybersecurity risks amid the increasingly intense strategic games between China and the US, experts said on Wednesday.
- Two Generals In Armenia Sacked Over Noncombat Army Deaths RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- The chief of Armenia's military police and another army general were dismissed on February 19, following a spate of noncombat deaths among soldiers.
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to the Traveling Press US Dept. of State 19 Feb 2020
- 19 February 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 19 Feb 2020
- Egypt constructing separation wall along border with Gaza Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- Egypt has started constructing a concrete wall along its border with the besieged Gaza Strip, a security official from the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says.
- Pro-Hadi Yemeni military chief survives bomb blast unscathed in central Yemen Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- The military chief for Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has had a narrow escape, when a convoy he was travelling in was struck by a landmine explosion in the country's central province of Ma'rib.
- End hostilities, 'preserve lives': UN refugee chief makes appeal for people trapped in Syria's Idlib UN News 20 Feb 2020 -- As the already dire situation in north-west Syria dramatically continues to worsen in Idlib province, the head of the United Nations refugee agency called on Thursday for an end to the hostilities and appealed for urgent action to allow the people trapped there to move to places of safety.
- UN envoy urges Turkey, Russia to de-escalate situation in Syria's Idlib Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen has called on Moscow and Ankara to de-escalate the situation in the Arab country's Idlib province after the Turkish president threatened "imminent" operation in the last stronghold of terrorists in northern Syria.
- Amid 'devastating scale' of suffering in Syria's north-west, UN Security Council urged to find political way forward UN News 19 Feb 2020 -- With progress stalled on both the peace and political fronts in Syria, UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen urged ambassadors in the Security Council on Wednesday to "put their weight" into finding a solution to end nearly nine years of conflict.
- UN Fears Fighting Will Follow Fleeing Syrians VOA 19 Feb 2020 -- As the number of civilians fleeing Syrian and Russian bombardments in northwestern Syria approaches the one million mark, the United Nations warned Wednesday that if fighting follows them, the result will be catastrophic.
- Libya talks need strong signal to resume: Prime Minister Sarraj Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- Libya's internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has ruled out the resumption of peace talks aimed at finding a solution to the crisis in the country unless there is a "strong signal" from all international players.
- Libya's Tripoli Government to Quit UN Talks with Haftar Forces VOA 19 Feb 2020 -- Libya's Tripoli-based, U.N.-backed "national unity" government says that it has suspended talks with forces under the command of General Khalifa Haftar, following an attack by Haftar's forces on the port of Tripoli Tuesday, which targeted a ship reportedly carrying weapons from Turkey.
- Kazakh Authorities Launch Some 90 Inquiries Into Deadly Ethnic Clashes RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- Kazakh authorities have launched about 90 investigations into the ethnic clashes in the southern region of Zhambyl that claimed 11 lives on February 7-8.
- Five Pakistani Soldiers Killed By Militant Attack Near Iranian Border RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- Five soldiers from Pakistan's Frontier Corps (FC) have been killed in an overnight attack by militants near the Iran-Pakistan border, Pakistani officials told RFE/RL on February 19.
- Millions of children and families in Niger struggle as humanitarian needs mount – UNICEF UN News 19 Feb 2020 -- Malnutrition, disease, floods, droughts and displacement in Niger have put nearly three million people, more than half of them children, in need of humanitarian assistance, UNICEF said on Wednesday, calling for increased attention to their plight.
- 10 Somali Soldiers, 16 Militants Killed in Al-Shabab Attacks VOA 19 Feb 2020 -- At least 10 Somali government soldiers and 16 militants were killed Wednesday when Islamist group al-Shabab attacked two military bases in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region.
- UN Calls for Independent, Impartial Investigation Into Cameroon Massacre VOA 19 Feb 2020 -- The U.N. human rights office is calling for an independent, impartial and thorough investigation into the massacre of 23 people in a village in Cameroon's Northwest Anglophone region on February 14.
- While Ousted President Faces ICC, Sudan's AG Reconsiders Country's Ties to Islamist Groups VOA 19 Feb 2020 -- Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been questioned for his role in financing international Islamist groups, according to the country's attorney general.
- Assange's Lawyer Claims WikiLeaks Founder Was Offered U.S. Pardon If He Denied Russia's Role RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- A lawyer for Julian Assange said the WikiLeaks founder will tell a judge during his extradition hearing that he was offered a pardon by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump in exchange for publicly saying that Russia was not involved in the leak of National Democratic Committee e-mails.
- Trump offered Assange pardon to cover up Russia alleged hacking Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- US President Donald Trump sent someone to the Ecuadorian embassy to tell Julian Assange that he would be pardoned if he denied that Russia leaked emails of his 2016 election rival's campaign, says the lawyer of the WikiLeaks founder.
- Pentagon's Top Policy Official Who Certified Ukraine Aid Leaves Office RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump said John Rood has left his position as the top policy official at the Defense Department after just two years, the latest in a series of key departures from his administration following the Senate impeachment trial.
- Trump Fires Pentagon's Top Policy Official as Impeachment Fallout Continues VOA 19 Feb 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump fired the Pentagon's top policy official Wednesday, the latest senior member of the administration to lose his job apparently because of Trump's lingering anger over impeachment and Ukraine.
- Mexican Man Arrested In Miami, Accused Of Working As Russian Agent RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- A Mexican citizen has been arrested on suspicion of working for a Russian government official to track down the vehicle of a "U.S. government source" in the Miami area of Florida and informing the Russian of its whereabouts.
- The 'Gray Cardinal' Has Left The Kremlin. What Does That Mean For The War In Ukraine? RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- After seven years overseeing the Kremlin's policy regarding Ukraine – a period which included Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region and the unleashing of a conflict in parts of eastern Ukraine that has left more than 13,000 people dead -- Vladislav Surkov has been dismissed.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Daily Briefing Online on February 19, 2020 PRC MofA 19 Feb 2020
- Coronavirus Lockdown, Transport Restrictions Depress China Economy VOA 19 Feb 2020 -- Plagued by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, China's inflationary pressure will continue to pick up this month after January's consumer price index (CPI) expanded at its fastest pace in more than eight years, analysts say.
- Iran parliament committee OKs currency overhaul bill Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- The Iranian parliament has approved the details of a government bill to drop four zeros from the national currency rial.
- High voter turnout in Iran elections will infuriate US: Rouhani Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says an inclusive and enthusiastic popular turnout in this Friday's parliamentary elections will enrage the United States, stressing the significant role of the legislative chamber in moving forward government efforts to thwart Washington's sanctions.
- Guardian Council: Vetting process based on Iran law, not politics Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- Iran's Guardian Council, the election supervisory body, says the vetting process for the candidates in the upcoming legislative elections was solely based on law and had nothing to do with the political factions the nominees represent.
- Why Iran's Very Predictable Parliamentary Vote Is Still Important RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- The outcome of Iran's February 21 parliamentary elections appears to be clear cut even before the ballots are cast: hard-liners and conservatives are likely to take control of the future parliament.
- Defense minister says Ukrainian plane's black box damaged IRNA 19 Feb 2020 -- Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Wednesday that the Iranian defense industry has been asked to help repair the seriously damaged black box of the Ukrainian airliner.
- Ministers Say Tehran Won't Hand Over 'Damaged' Black Box Of Downed Ukrainian Plane RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- The black box of a Ukrainian passenger airliner shot down by Iranian forces in Tehran in January is damaged and Iran will not hand it over to another country, despite pressure for access, state media quoted top Iranian ministers as saying on February 19.
- Outgoing Iraqi PM demands approval of successor Allawi's cabinet by March 2 Press TV 19 Feb 2020 -- Outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has called upon political leaders to quickly approve the cabinet of premier-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, and warned he would walk away from his caretaker post if they refuse to take the measure by early next month.
- Bosnian Presidency Members Criticize Dodik In Dispute Over International Judges RFE/RL 19 Feb 2020 -- The Bosniak and Croat members of the multiethnic presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina say they will not agree to a Serb demand to remove international judges from the country's Constitutional Court.
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