26 February 2020 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- Kabul Chaos: Afghan Election Dispute Could Spill Over Into Peace Process RFE/RL 26 Feb 2020 -- Afghanistan has averted a full-blown political crisis after the two main contenders in a bitterly disputed presidential election - each claiming victory - agreed to back down from their escalating feud.
- Kabul Blast, Attacks Elsewhere Challenge Afghan Truce VOA 26 Feb 2020 -- A bombing in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Wednesday injured at least nine civilians, the first significant incident of violence during the weeklong reduced fighting period agreed to between U.S.-backed Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents.
- Pompeo says U.S.-Taliban deal to include timeline for troops withdrawal, intra-Afghan negotiations People's Daily 26 Feb 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that a possible U.S.-Taliban peace deal will include a timetable for conditions-based U.S. troop withdrawals and the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations.
- Afghanistan's Ghani Postpones Presidential Inauguration Until March 9 RFE/RL 26 Feb 2020 -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has postponed his inauguration for his second term until March 9, amid a bitter dispute with his main election rival.
Defense Policy / Programs
- 1CDSB Wagonmasters Load Up For Defender-Europe 20 Army News 26 Feb 2020 -- 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade "Wagonmasters" bring together months of training and preparation to start loading equipment for Defender Europe 2020, Fort Hood, Texas, Jan. 30, 2020.
- Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist's Meeting With Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi DoD 26 Feb 2020
- Esper: DOD Budget Request Reflects Readiness Priorities, Tough Choices DoD News 26 Feb 2020 -- The 2018 National Defense Strategy provides a road map for the Defense Department to address the reemergence of strategic competition from China and Russia, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said.
- Strategy-Driven Budget Helps Hedge Against Capability Erosion DoD News 26 Feb 2020 -- The U.S. military remains the best trained, best equipped and best led military force in the world, but that lead is eroding and technology changes have stressed the United States' industrial-age capabilities, concepts and processes, fundamentally changing the character of war, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Operates in U.S. 6th Fleet NNS 26 Feb 2020 -- The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group is conducting operations in U.S. 6th Fleet to support maritime security operations in international waters, alongside our allies and partners.
- US, Saudi Bilateral Maritime Exercise Begins NNS 26 Feb 2020 -- The U.S. Navy and the Royal Saudi Naval Forces are participating in exercise Nautical Defender 20 (ND 20), Feb. 23-27.
- Navy Signs Charter to Establish Acquisition Modernization Office NNS 26 Feb 2020 -- The Navy took an important step forward in its drive for innovation with the charter signing to establish the Acquisition Modernization Office (AMO) within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC).
- Chinese naval fleet wraps up far sea exercise deep in Pacific Ocean Global Times 26 Feb 2020 -- A far sea joint training fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy returned to base after sailing 14,000 nautical miles and crossing the International Date Line deep into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, a move that challenges US hegemony in the open waters and will become increasingly frequent in the future, experts said on Wednesday.
- US sanction on Chinese firms rebuked as 'long-arm jurisdiction' Global Times 26 Feb 2020 -- The manager of a high-tech Chinese company sanctioned by the US for "helping" Iran's missile program denied on Wednesday that his company sells products to Iranian entities while Chinese observers believed that the US latest move shows Washington has never restrained from bullying practices as it imposed"long-arm jurisdiction"to sanction Chinese firms and exercised hegemonism as China is fighting arduously against the COVID-19 outbreak.
- China's rocket-carrying ships back from missions PLA Daily 26 Feb 2020 -- Two Chinese rocket-carrying ships returned to the port of China Satellite Maritime Tracking and Controlling Department Wednesday after missions of transporting the Long March rockets. The Yuanwang-21 set out on Dec. 30, 2019, and completed a maritime transport of the Long March-7A rocket, a new generation of China's medium-sized high-orbit rocket.
- Jordan - Artillery Command, Control and Communications (C3) Equipment DSCA 26 Feb 2020 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Jordan of up to seven hundred (700) Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) software license copies and related equipment for an estimated cost of $300 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on yesterday.
- Tunisia - AT-6 Light Attack Aircraft DSCA 26 Feb 2020 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Tunisia of four (4) AT-6C Wolverine Light Attack Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $325.8 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on yesterday.
- Netherlands - MK-48 Torpedo Conversion Kits DSCA 26 Feb 2020 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Netherlands of sixteen (16) MK-48 Mod 7 Advanced Technology (AT) torpedo conversion kits and related equipment for an estimated cost of $85 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on yesterday.
- Indonesian Lawmakers Approve US Drone, Helicopter Upgrade Aid Package Radio Free Asia 26 Feb 2020 -- An Indonesian parliamentary committee on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the acceptance of 14 unmanned aerial vehicles and the upgrade of three Bell helicopters paid for by the United States under a security assistance scheme.
- Remarks by President Trump at a Business Roundtable | New Delhi, India The White House 26 Feb 2020
- 26 February 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 26 Feb 2020
- Yemeni forces intercept, shoot down Saudi-led reconnaissance drone in Najran Press TV 26 Feb 2020 -- Yemeni army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the Saudi-led military coalition as it was flying in the skies over a mountainous region in the kingdom's southwestern border region of Najran.
- UNSC adopts resolution extending Yemen sanctions Press TV 26 Feb 2020 -- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has approved a resolution extending sanctions against Yemen despite criticisms by Russia and China that the document fails to meet their concerns.
- Libya's rival government says force cannot end blockade on eastern oil fields Press TV 26 Feb 2020 -- Libya's eastern-based rival government says a blockade on oil ports and fields in the country's east was imposed based on a "popular decision," and that the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) could not force eastern tribesmen to put an end to it.
- Russia says Turkey helping foreign militants enter Libya Press TV 26 Feb 2020 -- Russia says Turkey is helping foreign militants cross into Libya, where rebel forces are attempting to unseat the internationally-recognized government.
- Impunity persists for alleged violations in Occupied Palestinian Territories, UN Human Rights Council hears UN News 26 Feb 2020 -- Justice is still absent for Palestinian demonstrators shot by Israeli soldiers during weekly protests in Gaza, the UN Human Rights Council heard on Wednesday.
- White House Extends Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine Situation For One Year RFE/RL 26 Feb 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has extended for one year a series of previously imposed sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, in particular, forcibly annexing the Crimean Peninsula and further destabilizing the country.
- South Sudan Rejects UN Human Rights Criticism VOA 26 Feb 2020 -- A senior South Sudanese official rejected criticism by the U.N. Human Rights Council that his country is a serious violator of human rights.
- Cameroon Court Orders Partial Election Rerun in Troubled English-Speaking Regions VOA 26 Feb 2020 -- Cameroon's constitutional council has ordered a rerun of the February 9 national assembly election in a majority of the crisis prone English-speaking regions due to allegations of widespread irregularities and fraud by President Paul Biya's ruling Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party, which was declared the winner. The opposition Social Democratic Front that filed the complaint says it is ready for the rerun as the constitutional councils verdict that can not be appealed.
- Trump Campaign Sues New York Times For Libel Over Russia Story RFE/RL 26 Feb 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump's reelection campaign has filed a libel lawsuit against The New York Times (NYT), accusing it of falsely asserting a trade-off between Russian officials and the president's 2016 campaign.
- Growing Calls for US Intelligence to Clear Up Russian Meddling Allegations VOA 26 Feb 2020 -- Pressure appears to be building on the White House and U.S. intelligence agencies to declassify some information and brief the public on possible Russian attempts to meddle in the upcoming presidential election.
- The Department of Justice Creates Section Dedicated to Denaturalization Cases US Dept. of Justice 26 Feb 2020 -- The Department of Justice today announced the creation of a section dedicated to investigating and litigating revocation of naturalization. The Denaturalization Section will join the existing sections within the Civil Division's Office of Immigration Litigation–the District Court Section and the Appellate Section. This move underscores the Department's commitment to bring justice to terrorists, war criminals, sex offenders, and other fraudsters who illegally obtained naturalization.
- US Steps Up Effort to Fight Citizenship Fraud Cases VOA 26 Feb 2020 -- The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday that it has created a new office to investigate an influx of immigrants suspected of illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship and to seek court orders to strip them of naturalization.
- In First Interview Since Departure, Russia's Former 'Gray Cardinal' Questions Existence Of Ukraine RFE/RL 26 Feb 2020 -- Vladislav Surkov was once "the man" in the Kremlin - the "gray cardinal" and ideologist and who oversaw Ukraine policy during the now six-year war that has killed more than 13,000, displaced more than 1 million, and ruptured ties between Moscow and the West.
- United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee Designation of ISIS-West Africa and ISIS-Greater Sahara US Dept. of State 26 Feb 2020 -- The United States welcomes the action taken by the United Nations Security Council's 1267 al-Qa'ida and ISIL (Da'esh) Sanctions Committee on February 23 to add ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) and ISIS-Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) to its designations list.
- Treasury Designates Martyrs Foundation Companies and Officials as Global Terrorists US Treasury 26 Feb 2020 -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) three Lebanon-based officials and 12 Lebanon-based entities linked to the Martyrs Foundation, part of Hizballah's support network. Specifically, OFAC designated Atlas Holding for being owned or controlled by the Martyrs Foundation, as well as senior Atlas official Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi, and ten Atlas-affiliated companies.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on February 26, 2020 PRC MofA 26 Feb 2020
- Hong Kong Hands Out Billions to Police Force in Wake of Protests Radio Free Asia 26 Feb 2020 -- Hong Kong's government on Wednesday announced a huge financial boost to the city's police force, which has faced widespread criticism for violence against protesters and abuse of power in recent months.
- China Enterprises Deal with Confidence Crash Amid Coronavirus Outbreak VOA 26 Feb 2020 -- The coronavirus outbreak will likely take a bigger-than-expected toll on China's economy this quarter as the latest business conditions index, compiled by the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) since 2012, dropped to a historic low in February.
- North Korea's Senior Officials Hold Meetings by Video Conference to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus Radio Free Asia 26 Feb 2020 -- The North Korean government conducting senior-level meetings by video conference instead of meeting face to face, as fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus reach even high-ranking senior officials in the reclusive country, including Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un himself, sources in the North told RFA.
- JCPOA shortest ever meeting ends in Vienna IRNA 26 Feb 2020 -- The 15th meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission concluded on Wednesday in its shortest ever time (less than two hours) in presence of deputy foreign ministers and political directors of the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the P4 + 1.
- Iran Nuclear Accord Parties Meeting To Try To Salvage Deal RFE/RL 26 Feb 2020 -- The remaining members of the floundering Iran nuclear deal are meeting in Vienna for the first time since Germany, France, and Britain initiated dispute procedures that could reimpose UN sanctions on Tehran.
- US slaps sanctions on 13 foreign entities, individuals over Iran's missile program Press TV 26 Feb 2020 -- The US State Department has imposed sanctions against 13 foreign entities and individuals in China, Iraq, Russia and Turkey over what it calls their support for Iran's missile program.
- Iran's top security official decries US duplicity in virus allegation Press TV 26 Feb 2020 -- Iran's top security official has harshly rebuked the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's allegation that Tehran is covering up details of the coronavirus spread in the country.
- Cambodia Opposition Leader Kem Sokha's Treason Trial Resumes After Suspension Radio Free Asia 26 Feb 2020 -- The treason trial for Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha resumed Wednesday after being suspended since last week after the defense protested not being allowed to respond to new evidence presented by the prosecution without their prior knowledge.
- Jailed Gulnara Karimova Offers $686 Million Frozen In Swiss Bank For Freedom RFE/RL 26 Feb 2020 -- Gulnara Karimova, the imprisoned eldest daughter of the late Uzbek President Islam Karimov, has offered to return $686 million to the country's treasury in exchange for closure in the latest court case against her.
- Egypt's former president Mubarak dies at 91 People's Daily 26 Feb 2020 -- Egyptian former President Hosni Mubarak has died at the age of 91 after suffering a long illness, state-run Nile TV reported on Tuesday.
- Indian Prime Minister Appeals for Calm After Deadly Riots Wrack New Delhi VOA 26 Feb 2020 -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is appealing for calm after three days of deadly clashes between Hindus and Muslim groups in the Indian capital left at least 23 people dead and more than 200 injured.
- UN study projects $32 billion loss for UK post no-deal Brexit UN News 26 Feb 2020 -- The United Kingdom (UK) risks losing up to 14 per cent of its exports to the European Union (EU) in a so-called "no-deal" Brexit, according to a new study by the UN Conference on Trade, Investment and Development (UNCTAD).
- Cost of China-built Railway Haunts Kenya VOA 26 Feb 2020 -- Kenya this week is celebrating 1,000 days of standard gauge railway (SGR) operation, with 13,000 trains covering 6.3 million kilometers. The Chinese-built railway moves people and goods from the port of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi, and also to a small town in Naivasha.
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