09 September 2020 Military News
- Pentagon formally announces troop reduction in Iraq Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- The commander of US Central Command says his country will reduce the number of its forces in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 by the end of September.
- US to Reduce Military Presence in Iraq to 3,000 in September Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- The United States will remove around 2,200 troops from Iraq by the end of this month in a significant drawdown of its military presence in the country, Central Command (CENTCOM) chief Gen. Frank McKenzie said on Wednesday.
- Afghan assassination bid: Vice president survives attack which kills, wounds 2 dozen Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- Afghanistan's First Vice-President Amrullah Saleh has been lightly injured in a bomb attack targeting his convoy in the capital, Kabul, but two dozen other people have been killed and wounded.
- Afghan Vice President Saleh 'Unharmed' In Deadly Attack On His Convoy In Kabul RFE/RL 09 Sep 2020 -- Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh has escaped with only slight injuries after an apparent assassination attempt in the capital early on September 9 that killed at least 10 people.
- CENTCOM: US Cutting Troop Levels in Afghanistan to 4,500 VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- The U.S. military is drawing down to 3,000 troops in Iraq this month and 4,500 in Afghanistan by November, the head of U.S Central Command said Wednesday.
- Afghan Vice President Survives Deadly Blast VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- An attack on Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh in Kabul Wednesday morning killed at least 10 people and wounded scores of others, mostly pedestrians in the morning rush hour, according to officials with Afghanistan's Interior Ministry.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Trump revealed US secret new nuclear weapons system, according to new bombshell book Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- US President Donald Trump bragged about a secret new nuclear weapons system in an interview with a journalist, according to excerpts from a new book.
- Trump Boasts of Nuclear Weapon 'You Haven't Even Seen or Heard About' in Woodward Book Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- Excerpts from journalist Bob Woodward's forthcoming book "Rage" include comments by US President Donald Trump about the Pentagon having a nuclear weapons system "you haven't even seen or heard about."
- Remarks by General John E. Hyten to the Joint Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition DoD 09 Sep 2020 -- Gen. John E. Hyten
- Secretary of Defense Remarks for DOD Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition DoD 09 Sep 2020 -- As prepared for delivery by Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper
- Readout From the White House Coronavirus Task Force's Governors Briefing on COVID-19 Response & Progress on Vaccine Development, Manufacturing and Distribution DoD 09 Sep 2020
- Full Impact of COVID-19 on Industrial Base Not Yet Known DoD News 09 Sep 2020 -- While it appears the defense industrial base has fared well though the COVID-19 crisis, the full impact has yet to be seen, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment said.
- AFRICOM Commander visits Tunisia to discuss security AFRICOM 09 Sep 2020 -- U.S. Africa Command commander, U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend traveled to Tunisia Sept. 9, to meet with key Tunisian leadership, including Tunisian President Kais Saied and Tunisian Minister of Defense, Ibrahim Bartagi. U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia Donald Blome also participated in the meetings.
- Defense Acquisition System Directive Goes Into Effect DoD 09 Sep 2020 -- On Sep. 8, 2020, Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist signed into effect DoD Directive 5000.01, The Defense Acquisition System. In support of the National Defense Strategy, the Defense Acquisition System develops a more lethal force based on U.S. technological innovation and a culture of performance that yields a decisive and sustained U.S. military advantage.
- Readout of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Dr. James Anderson's Bilateral Engagement With Nigerian Permanent Secretary of Defense Mr. Sabi'u Zakari DoD 09 Sep 2020
- Esper Says Artificial Intelligence Will Change the Battlefield DoD News 09 Sep 2020 -- One aspect of the return of great power competition is the race to develop artificial intelligence, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said at the virtual Joint Artificial Intelligence Center symposium.
- Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic Helps Marines Achieve U.S. Space Force Certification Milestone for Next-Generation GPS US Navy 09 Sep 2020 -- Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic helped the Marine Corps obtain U.S. Space Force (USSF) certification on June 26 for next-generation GPS technology that will make warfighters more dominant in the information warfare domain.
- USS Hershel "Woody" Williams Arrives in Rota, Spain US Navy 09 Sep 2020 -- The Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel "Woody" Williams (ESB 4) conducted a routine logistics stop at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Spain, while on a regularly-scheduled deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of responsibility, Sept. 9, 2020.
- USS Winston S. Churchill Completes PASSEX with Tunisian Armed Forces US Navy 09 Sep 2020 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) executed a passing exercise (PASSEX) with Tunisian naval counterparts in the Mediterranean Sea, Aug. 22, 2020.
- U.S. Navy joins Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea for Multinational Group Sail US Navy 09 Sep 2020 -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) is scheduled to join the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) during a multinational group sail from waters near Hawaii to Guam beginning Sept. 9, to conduct integrated, multi-domain operations.
- Russia's Su-27 Scrambled to Intercept US Spy Plane Over Black Sea Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- Russian fighter jet Su-27 was scrambled on Wednesday to intercept a US reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, the Russian Defen?e Ministry's National Defense Control Center (NDCC) said.
- PLA bombers, air defense troops, paratroopers deployed in plateau region amid border tensions Global Times 09 Sep 2020 -- Following renewed border tensions between China and India over the past two weeks due to the latest Indian provocations, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been reportedly mobilizing forces, including bombers, air defense troops, artillery, armored vehicles, paratroopers, special forces and infantry units, from different parts of the country to the bordering plateau region, a move that shows the PLA's capability and determination to safeguard the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, analysts said on Wednesday.
- North Korean Soldier Deserts Unit During Military Parade Practice Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea are on high alert after a soldier deserted his unit during training for a major military parade next month for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers' Party, sources in Pyongyang told RFA.
- Newly-Developed Indian Light Helicopter Completes Hot and High Altitude Trials in Contested Ladakh Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- The Indian Air Force deployed two Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) along with fighter jets, transport aircraft, and thousands of additional troops to the Ladakh region last month amid the ongoing standoff with China. New Delhi and Beijing have failed to reach a consensus on the disengagement of troops along the 4,057 km Line of Actual Control.
- Serbia Withdraws From Belarus Military Exercise, Citing EU Pressure RFE/RL 09 Sep 2020 -- The Serbian government has decided to suspend all joint international military exercises for the next six months, just one day ahead of the beginning of the Slavic Brotherhood 2020 exercise to be hosted by Belarus.
- Kushner Says Possible Sale of F-35s 'Being Discussed' After Israel-UAE Peace Deal Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- The US administration is contemplating a sale of F-35 fifth generation jet fighters to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but will discuss a possible deal with Israel to accommodate its security concerns, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner told reporters on Wednesday.
- Poland Interested in Lockheed Martin's 'Next-Generation' Drones to Complement F-35 Buy Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- A vice president at US defense contractor Lockheed Martin recently revealed Warsaw's interest in the company's futuristic drones to complement the nearly three dozen F-35 stealth aircraft Poland signed a deal to buy earlier this year.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany | 9/9/2020 The White House 09 Sep 2020
- Contracts For Sept. 9, 2020
- Northrop Grumman Lands $13.3 Billion Contract to Build Pentagon's New ICBM Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- A $13.3 billion award has been given to defense contractor Northrop Grumman by the US Air Force amid the service's engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase to replace its aging intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) nuclear delivery system.
- Distrust of public institutions, health inequities could push more countries into conflict, UN political affairs chief warns UN News 09 Sep 2020 -- The erosion of trust in public institutions, unequal access to health care and tensions around delicate peace negotiations, are among the risks amplified by COVID-19, which if not mitigated, could push more countries into violence, the UN political affairs chief told the Security Council on Wednesday.
- Indonesia, Vietnam: Follow International Law to Resolve South China Sea Dispute Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Indonesia and Vietnam said Wednesday that the South China Sea dispute threatens regional stability and that countries should settle the acrimonious row by adhering to international law.
- Yemeni forces pound Saudi Arabia's Abha airport with drones for 4th time in days Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- Yemeni forces have launched a fourth round of drone strikes against an airport in Saudi Arabia's southwestern region of Asir in less than a week.
- Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden (UAV) in Launched by Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia Toward the Kingdom SPA 09 Sep 2020 -- Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen COL Turki Al-Malki
- Fresh war crimes fears highlighted in new Yemen report UN News 09 Sep 2020 -- The war in Yemen continues to ravage the country and its people, senior UN-appointed rights investigators said on Wednesday, in a call for an international probe into suspected war crimes, and sanctions against the perpetrators.
- In Fresh Flare-Up Along India-China Border Both Sides Accuse Each Other of Firing Warning Shots VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- Tensions increased along the India-China border as both sides accused each other of firing warning shots at their disputed Himalayan boundary, where a military standoff is now in its fifth month.
- Thousands of Tibetans Driven From Their Homes by China to Make Way For National Park Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Plans by China to build a national park in Tibetan-populated areas of Qinghai province are forcing thousands of nomads from their ancestral land, with final removal of the herders scheduled by the end of this year, Tibetan sources say.
- Cameroon Separatists Turning to Cattle Rustling, Ranchers Say VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- Cameroon authorities say anglophone separatists have stolen thousands of cattle from ethnic Mbororo ranchers since July, forcing them to move livestock hundreds of kilometers away to more secure areas. Authorities say the rebels' cattle rustling appears to be motivated by food shortages.
- Cambodians Express Joy, Sorrow, Relief After Death of Dreaded Khmer Rouge Commandant VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- Cambodians greeted the death of Khmer Rouge commandant Kaing Guek Eav – also known as Duch – with a mix of happiness, sorrow and relief, as this country continues to move on from its tragic past.
- Myanmar Army Dismisses Soldiers' Rohingya Atrocity Confessions as Coerced Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Myanmar soldiers' videotaped confessions that they committed atrocities against Rohingya Muslims during army sweeps of their villages in 2017 are "not true," an army spokesman said Wednesday, dismissing the admissions recorded by the rebel Arakan Army as coerced.
- Myanmar Military Admits Soldiers Assaulted Woman in Rakhine State Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Myanmar's army on Wednesday admitted that three of its soldiers raped an ethnic Rakhine grandmother during army operations in her village in war-torn Rakhine state in late June, reversing its earlier denials and pledging that the men will face military and civil charges.
- 2020 State of the Homeland As Delivered by Acting Secretary Chad Wolf DHS 09 Sep 2020
- Russian Deputy Energy Minister Arrested For Embezzlement RFE/RL 09 Sep 2020 -- Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Tikhonov has been arrested in Moscow on allegations of embezzlement.
- Putin's Annual Direct Line Call-In Television Program Will Not Be Held This Year, Spokesman Says RFE/RL 09 Sep 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual TV call-in television program, Direct Line, put off since June because of the coronavirus outbreak, will not be held this year.
- Russia Protests Germany's 'Unfounded Accusations' In Navalny Poisoning Case RFE/RL 09 Sep 2020 -- Russia says it has protested strongly to Berlin's envoy to Moscow over "unfounded accusations and ultimatums" purportedly made by Germany over the illness of poisoned Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny.
- Novichok's Developer Calls Fresh Reports on Navalny's 'Poisoning' Nonsense Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- Reports about the alleged poisoning of Alexey Navalny with a new type of Novichok nerve agent cannot be true, since there were no symptoms of poisoning with this substance, Leonid Rink, one of the developers of the chemical warfare agent, said.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on September 9, 2020 PRC MofA 09 Sep 2020
- The Hypocrisy of the PRC's Propaganda System US Dept. of State 09 Sep 2020 -- "Today, the Chinese Communist Party's main propaganda newspaper, the People's Daily, refused to run an Op-ed written by our Ambassador in Beijing, Terry Branstad, citing a litany of grievances."
- Beijing says Australia searched Chinese journalists' houses, seized items Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- China's Foreign Ministry says Australian intelligence agents searched the houses of Chinese journalists and confiscated items from them without explanation.
- Australia fails to justify raid on 4 Chinese journalists: Chinese FM Global Times 09 Sep 2020 -- Australia has not given a reasonable explanation for why it raided the residences of four Chinese journalists in June and still not returned all the journalists' seized items, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
- Interview: 'I Got a Midnight Visit From The State Security Police' Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Bill Birtles of the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) and Michael Smith of the Australian Financial Review fled China on Sept. 8 after sheltering for a few days in Australian diplomatic compounds. Their hasty departure came after Chinese police detained Australian national and state-media anchor Cheng Lei pending an investigation in which Smith and Birtles were named "persons of interest." Birtles spoke to RFA's Mandarin Service on Wednesday about his recent experiences in China:
- China, Carrie Lam, Say Hong Kong Has Been Controlled by Beijing Since 1997 Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday repeated her stance that the city's government is "executive-led" and accountable to the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, amid an outcry over her earlier statement saying there is no separation of powers.
- Possible US ban on Xinjiang cotton 'coercion' Global Times 09 Sep 2020 -- In an another attempt to taint China's Xinjiang policies, the US government is reportedly mulling a ban on cotton products made in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region over the so-called abuse of human rights. However, reality tells a different story and Western politicians have failed to listen to the true voices of residents in Xinjiang.
- British MPs Condemn Rights Abuses in Xinjiang, Demand End to Beijing's Policies of Repression Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- A group of 135 cross-party British members of parliament have written to China's ambassador to the United Kingdom condemning rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and calling for their immediate end.
- Uyghur Villagers Forgo Washing For Years Fearing Accusations of Performing Ablutions Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Uyghur residents of at least one village in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) city, in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), haven't washed their faces for years for fear they'll be accused of performing prayer ablutions and sent to an internment camp, according to a local official.
- Global Coalition Calls for Greater Scrutiny of China on Rights VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- A global coalition of 321 civil society groups from 60 countries is calling for China to face greater scrutiny for its alleged systemic and serious human rights violations. The coalition plans to demand an end to China's impunity at the U.N. Human Rights Council, during the council's upcoming session next week.
- Chinese Refugees Fear Deportation as Thailand Increases Cooperation with China VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- Chinese dissidents fleeing abroad have long used Thailand as a route for escaping repression at home. In recent years, Thailand's government has been cooperating more with Beijing's effort to pursue dissidents overseas, putting them at risk.
- Somaliland opens representative office in Taipei CNA 09 Sep 2020 -- Somaliland, a self-declared East African state, formally opened its representative office in Taiwan on Wednesday, signifying closer bilateral relations.
- Somaliland opens rep office in Taiwan, snubbing China, Somalia Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- The breakaway East African territory of Somaliland has opened a representative office in Taiwan, snubbing both Somalia and China.
- Chinese fighter jets enter Taiwan's air defense identification zone CNA 09 Sep 2020 -- A number of Chinese military jets were spotted entering Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) early Wednesday, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a press release.
- PLA sorties in Taiwan Straits routine, not related to island missile test: experts Global Times 09 Sep 2020 -- Multiple fighter jets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Wednesday approached the island of Taiwan, the island's defense authority said, as Taiwan media said the PLA mission is the most intense this year, and speculated that it was aimed at "disrupting" the island's air defense missile test launch.
- Chinese Border City Enables Sanctions Evasion, Report Claims VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- A new report says the Chinese border city of Dandong continues to provide a vital lifeline for North Korea's economy, despite United Nations sanctions that have been in place since Pyongyang conducted a nuclear missile test three years ago, an incident that many thought could have led to war on the Korean peninsula.
- US definitely won't reach its goals against Iranian nation by imposing unjust sanctions: President Rouhani ISNA 09 Sep 2020 -- Stating that our country is different from other countries culturally and religiously, and that we should not compare our country with other countries with regard to problems caused by the sanctions and the outbreak of coronavirus, Iran's President said, "Regarding education, our first priority is face-to-face education, but there is no compulsion here".
- Dollar Soars to Near Record Level in Iran Radio Farda 09 Sep 2020 -- The dollar was sold at an almost-record level of more than 250,000 rials in Tehran's exchange market on Tuesday.
- Iran Begins Construction on Advanced Centrifuge Production Hall Near Natanz Nuke Site Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- Iran is constructing a production hall for advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges as a response to the recent fire meant to "sabotage" the country's development of the machines, according to Tuesday comments issued by the country's nuclear chief.
- Protests in Belarus never directed against Russia: Opposition figure Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- Belarus' opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who left the country for Lithuania after losing the presidential election to Alexander Lukashenko, says the protests in Belarus have never been directed against Russia.
- Tsikhanouskaya Urges Belarus Opposition To 'Remain Peaceful' As More Figures Detained RFE/RL 09 Sep 2020 -- Prosecutors have opened a criminal case against a leading opposition figure inside Belarus as Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the exiled leader of the country's reinvigorated opposition to five-term President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, urged protesters at home to "remain peaceful" amid an intensifying crackdown that featured another suspected abduction by regime forces.
- Flying The Flag: Belarusians Show Their True Colors In Solidarity With Protests RFE/RL 09 Sep 2020 -- It's red and white and all over Belarus, from clotheslines and hay bales to apartment-building balconies, stairwells and more -- a pervasive symbol of resistance to authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and a simple, striped sign of support for his opponents.
- US Considering Sanctions Against Belarus After 'Unjustified Violence and Repression' Pompeo Says VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday the United States is deeply concerned about attempts by the government of Belarus to forcibly expel opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova. The top U.S. diplomat said the United States and other countries are considering bringing sanctions in response to recent events in Belarus.
- Masked Men in Belarus Detain Another Lukashenko Foe VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- Unidentified Belarusian authorities have detained one of the two remaining free leaders of an opposition council amid continuing protests against longtime President Alexander Lukashenko following a disputed election.
- Recent US Sanctions Increase Risk for Potential Hezbollah Allies VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- A U.S. government decision Tuesday to sanction two former Lebanese government ministers is the latest unprecedented campaign against Hezbollah, with some observers saying the move dramatically increases the risk for Lebanese politicians to engage with the U.S.-designated terror group.
- Lebanese parties, Hezbollah denounce US for new sanctions Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- Lebanon's resistance movement Hezbollah and two political parties have denounced Washington's new sanctions imposed on two former Lebanese ministers.
- Sentencing of Cambodian Opposition Activist Raises Fears of New Round of Jailings Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- The jailing of a former provincial official of the banned Cambodian National Rescue Party for five years on treason charges for supporting an abortive 2019 plan by CNRP leader Sam Rainsy to return to the country has raised fears that more oppositions will suffer the same fate.
- Defendants in Vietnam's Dong Tam Trial Allege Torture in Custody Radio Free Asia 09 Sep 2020 -- Nineteen defendants in a group of 29 land-rights protesters on trial in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi testified on Tuesday that they had been tortured by police during interrogations following their arrest over a deadly clash, with one saying he had been beaten with a rubber club for ten consecutive days.
- Saudi crown prince's Misk Foundation under review amid espionage scandals: Report Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's flagship "charity" foundation is said to be under review in the kingdom after it was mired in a series of scandals, including involvement in espionage activities on US soil.
- Tajikistan Marks Independence Day Without Public Events RFE/RL 09 Sep 2020 -- Tajikistan is marking 29 years of post-Soviet independence in an uncharacteristically low-profile affair avoiding public events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Boris Johnson defends controversial new Brexit-related bill Press TV 09 Sep 2020 -- As concern continues to mount about the government's highly controversial bill, which is set to interfere with aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has leapt to its defense.
- Brexit: Scottish and Welsh Governments Furious as Boris Johnson Unveils Internal Market Bill Sputnik 09 Sep 2020 -- Britain left the European Union on 31 December but has remained part of the single market during a transition period which expires at the end of this year. The British government has been trying to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU but has threatened to walk away without a deal.
- British PM Defends New Brexit Bill to Protect UK's 'Internal Market' VOA 09 Sep 2020 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he plans to "press on" with proposed legislation that explicitly acknowledges his government could break international law by ignoring some parts of the Brexit treaty it signed with the European Union.
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