23 November 2020 Military News
- NATO Chief Says Alliance Will Make 'Difficult' Afghan Choice In February RFE/RL Gandhara 23 Nov 2020 -- NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says the transatlantic alliance will decide the fate of its training mission in Afghanistan at its next defense ministers' meeting, in February.
- 'My Heart Burns': Afghan Victims Of Alleged Australian Atrocities Demand Justice RFE/RL Gandhara 23 Nov 2020 -- Mariam weeps at any mention of her late son, Rozi Khan. The Afghan grandmother, who goes by one name only, vividly remembers how Australian forces killed Khan, 22, in Sarkhum, their village near Tarin Kot, the capital of southern Uruzgan Province.
- Intra-Afghan talks bring peace, stability to Afghanistan: Iran Parliament speaker Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf says intra-Afghan talks leading by the country's legal government without pressure from third countries can help establish peace and stability in the war-ravaged state.
- Taliban deploying drones to drop bombs, says Afghan intelligence chief Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) says the Taliban militant group has used small drones to drop bombs on government forces in some regions over the past few months.
- World abandoning Afghanistan will have disastrous outcome: UN Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- The United Nations has warned the international community of "disastrous consequences," if it halts assisting millions of Afghan people, amid a growing violence and flagging peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban.
- Afghanistan: UN's Grandi and Bachelet put plea for lasting ceasefire top of their wishlist UN News 23 Nov 2020 -- Two top UN officials called for an end to the long-running conflict in Afghanistan on Monday, telling a major conference in Geneva that normality could only return to the country if there was a sustained ceasefire.
- Report: Afghan War Killed or Maimed Over 26,000 Children VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- An international charity says an average of five children have been killed or wounded every day in war-ravaged Afghanistan over the past 14 years.
Defense Policy / Programs
- DOD Statement on Transition Activities DoD 23 Nov 2020 -- The Department has received notice that pursuant to the Presidential Transition Act, the GSA Administrator is making certain post-election resources and services available to the Biden-Harris Transition Team.
- Rakkasans help with design of Army's Future Assault Aircraft Army News 23 Nov 2020 -- Soldiers from the famed 2-506th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) descended on the Bell Helicopter Flight Research Center to take a look at the V-280 Valor. Designed and built under the Army's Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program, the Valor has flown more than 190 hours demonstrating the advanced tilt-rotor technology needed to achieve the reach, agility, and speed the Army is looking for in its next generation air assault aircraft.
- Flight tests to show B61-12 will work on Air Force's newest fighter jet Sandia National Laboratories 23 Nov 2020 -- A mock B61-12's strike in the dusty Nevada desert successfully completed the first in a series of flight tests with the U.S. Air Force's newest fighter jet, demonstrating the bomb's first release from an internal bomb bay at greater than the speed of sound.
- U.S. withdraws from Open Skies Treaty, Russia hopes remaining parties meet commitments People's Daily 23 Nov 2020 -- The United States said on Sunday that it officially withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty, in yet another move to abandon a major international arms control agreement.
- US Exit of Open Skies Treaty: Russia Warns of Tough Response to Washington's 'Dishonest Game' Sputnik 23 Nov 2020 -- On Sunday, Washington confirmed that it is no longer a party to the Open Skies Treaty. This comes six months after the Trump administration announced that it would withdraw from the agreement, citing Russia's alleged violations of the treaty and non-compliance with its terms, something Moscow has strongly rejected.
- DOD Awards $565,000 Contract to Freeman Manufacturing Co. to Increase Domestic Production Capacity of Disposable Gowns DoD 23 Nov 2020 -- On Nov. 20, 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD), in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded a $565,000 contract to Freeman Manufacturing Co. to increase domestic production capability of disposable gowns.
- Operation Warp Speed Refines Vaccine Delivery Plan DoD News 23 Nov 2020 -- While the reality of a COVID-19 vaccine inches closer, the team at Operation Warp Speed is refining its plan to deliver doses across the country.
- Warp Speed Readies to Distribute New Drug Cocktail for COVID-19 DoD News 23 Nov 2020 -- On Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization, or EUA, for casirivimab and imdevimab. Administered together, intravenously, this drug "cocktail" has been shown in trials to reduce hospitalization or emergency room visits in patients who have contracted COVID-19.
- U.S. Army Europe and Africa Commands consolidate AFRICOM 23 Nov 2020 -- On Friday, the U.S. Army announced the consolidation of U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army Africa into a new command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa (USAREURAF).
- Defense Department Launches Initiative to Boost U.S. Industrial Workforce DoD 23 Nov 2020 -- One of the most vital challenges for the U.S. defense industrial base is the deficit in domestic manufacturing and engineering talent. In order to address this problem head-on, the Defense Department recently awarded its first nine prototyping projects, valued at nearly $27 million, as part of the launch of the "National Imperative for Industrial Skills" initiative, or "the Skills Imperative."
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller's Phone Call With Singapore Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen DoD 23 Nov 2020
- Readout of Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller's Phone Call With Australian Minister for Defence Reynolds DoD 23 Nov 2020
- U.S. Navy Warship USS Donald Cook Enters the Black Sea US Navy 23 Nov 2020 -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) transited into the Black Sea in support of NATO Allies and partners, Nov. 23, 2020.
- US Military Official Urges Closer Security Cooperation With Seoul in Space Sputnik 23 Nov 2020 -- The United States must expand its space security cooperation with South Korea to better prepare against future threats, Gen. John Raymond, the chief of space operations at the US Space Force, has said.
- Adapting NATO for 2030 and beyond - Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the 66th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly NATO 23 Nov 2020
- NATO Secretary General spoke with U.S. President-elect Biden NATO 23 Nov 2020 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke with Joe Biden on Monday (23 November 2020) to congratulate him on his election as the next President of the United States and Kamala Harris as the next Vice-President. Mr. Stoltenberg thanked President-elect Biden for being a long-standing supporter of NATO and the transatlantic relationship.
- PLA Western Theater Command commissions more J-16 fighter jets: reports Global Times 23 Nov 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Western Theater Command is reportedly commissioning more J-16 aircraft, a type of powerful fighter jet capable of controlling air, sea and land, in a move to better safeguard China's territorial integrity in the country's western regions, analysts said on Monday.
- China's aircraft carrier Shandong holds year's 3rd voyage Global Times 23 Nov 2020 -- The Shandong, China's first domestically developed aircraft carrier, the second in all, recently embarked on its third voyage of the year, after it was declared to have completed regular testing and training missions in late October.
- Foreigners suspected of destroying border military facilities arrested in Guangxi PLA Daily 23 Nov 2020 -- Border authorities in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have tightened border control recently and the border police have thus cracked eight cases of destroying border military facilities within a week, arresting 15 foreign suspects.
- Transit through Taiwan Strait vital to free Indo-Pacific: officer CNA 23 Nov 2020 -- The commanding officer of the USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, reiterated Sunday that its transit through the Taiwan Strait and presence in the South China Sea is vital to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.
- Military mechanist in missing F-16 unit dies in suspected suicide CNA 23 Nov 2020 -- The chief mechanist in an Air Force unit, from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing almost a week ago, was pronounced dead at a military hospital Sunday evening after allegedly committing suicide.
- US navy admiral visits Taiwan, deepening divide with China Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- A senior US naval official, with responsibility for military intelligence in the Asia Pacific, has made an undercover visit to Taiwan in an apparent last-ditch effort by the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump to strengthen relations with the self-ruled island -- a move which is certain to outrage China.
- US Navy Rear Admiral Reportedly Makes Unannounced Visit to Taiwan Sputnik 23 Nov 2020 -- According to Reuters, US Rear Admiral Michael Studeman paid an unannounced visit to Taiwan in a move that is thought be some to likely prompt criticism from Beijing. The Pentagon reportedly has declined to comment.
- Home-made destroyer 'Dena' to join Iran's navy fleet soon: Defense Minister IRNA 23 Nov 2020 -- Iranian Minister of Defense Brigadier-General Amir Hatami on Monday said that the new Iran-made destroyer 'Dena' will become operational in the navy fleet in the coming months.
- US opposes Iraq's S-400 system acquisition as it challenges its aerial hegemony: MP Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- An Iraqi legislator says the United States is fiercely opposed to Iraq's procurement of Russian-made surface-to-air S-400 air defense missile systems for fear the advanced anti-aircraft weapons could undermine the aerial hegemony of Washington in the region.
- Israel's Gantz sets up panel to probe Netanyahu submarine scandal Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Israel's minister of military affairs Benny Gantz has announced the formation of a commission to investigate the purchase of submarines and missile boats from Germany that has embroiled several close associates of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- Turkey Not Disappointed With S-400 Acquisition Despite Reports, Diplomatic Source Says Sputnik 23 Nov 2020 -- The acquisition of the Russian air defence systems by Turkey met with severe opposition from Washington, which threatened to impose sanctions on Ankara. This, however, did not stop Turkey from buying them and reportedly testing their functionality recently.
- Turkey's Ruling Party Insists S-400 Purchase Is Not Subject for 'Bargaining' With US Sputnik 23 Nov 2020 -- Ankara believes that political bargaining with the United States over purchasing Russia's S-400 air defense systems is unacceptable, since it procured the S-400 for protecting the national security, Omer Celik, the spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party, said on Monday.
- US Pledges Support for Manila on Counterterrorism, South China Sea Radio Free Asia 23 Nov 2020 -- Washington will "stand with" Manila against pro-Islamic State militants and help defend its interests in the South China Sea, American National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien pledged as he turned over missiles and other weapons valued at $18 million during a visit here Monday.
- Contracts For Nov. 23, 2020
- Huntington Ingalls Industries Awarded Contract for Construction of First Two Columbia-Class Submarine Modules Huntington Ingalls Industries 23 Nov 2020 -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has been awarded a contract modification from General Dynamics Electric Boat in support of construction on the first two Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines
- 23 November 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 23 Nov 2020
- Indonesian Navy to Move Combat Squad's HQ to Natuna Islands Radio Free Asia 23 Nov 2020 -- Indonesia's navy chief said Monday it would move its combat squad's headquarters to the Natuna Islands to protect Jakarta's territorial interests near the South China Sea, amid incursions in national waters by Chinese and Vietnamese fishing boats.
- Yemeni missile targets Saudi Aramco facility in Jeddah Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Yemeni forces have launched a missile attack on a distribution station operated by the Saudi Aramco oil company in the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy, in Yemen: The Terrorist Assault on One of the Oil Derivatives Distribution Stations in (Jeddah) Is a Cowardly Terrorist Assault on Global Energy Security and Supply SPA 23 Nov 2020 -- The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: The Terrorist Assault on One of the Oil Derivatives Distribution Stations in (Jeddah) Is a Cowardly Terrorist Assault on Global Energy Security and Supply.
- No time to waste, as Yemen inches towards famine: UN Children's Fund UN News 23 Nov 2020 -- Raising alarm over "an imminent catastrophe" in war-ravaged Yemen, the head of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reiterated the urgent need for combatants to stop the fighting.
- Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service arrests Daesh 'administrative chief' at Baghdad airport Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Members of Iraq's elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) have captured a high-ranking figure of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group after he arrived at Baghdad International Airport.
- Europe threatens sanctions against parties violating Libya's fragile peace process Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Britain, France, Germany and Italy have threatened to impose sanctions against any parties to the conflict in Libya that violate the fragile peace process in the North African country.
- Turkey Protests Check of Cargo Ship in Mediterranean Suspected of Violation of Arms Embargo on Libya Sputnik 23 Nov 2020 -- German authorities on Monday confirmed reports about the interruption of an inspection of a Turkish vessel suspected of smuggling weapons to Libya and said that EU leaders would discuss the incident at the December summit.
- Hamas blasts Netanyahu's visit to Saudi Arabia as 'insult' to Palestinian cause Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's secret flight to Saudi Arabia, where he reportedly met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling the move an "insult" to the Palestinian cause.
- Saudi Foreign Minister Denies Crown Prince Meeting Israeli Officials Sputnik 23 Nov 2020 -- Media reports earlier emerged suggesting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made an unannounced trip to see the Saudi crown prince, around the time he had been scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Secretary Mike Pompeo.
- Netanyahu secretly visits Saudi Arabia, meets bin Salman: Report Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Israeli media are reporting that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a secret visit to Saudi Arabia Sunday.
- Reports: Israeli PM Netanyahu Made Secret Visit to Saudi Arabia VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- Israeli media report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia Sunday and held a secret meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Saudi foreign minister denied the reports and Netanyahu refused to comment. Israel sees Saudi Arabia as the key to a moderate axis in the Middle East that can challenge Iran.
- Israel ratifies first ever visa-free agreement with UAE Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Israel ratifies an unprecedented treaty signed with the United Arab Emirates that enables people to travel visa-free from the occupied territories to the Emirates and vice versa.
- Israel sends first delegation to Sudan since normalization deal Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Israel has sent its first delegation to Sudan after they agreed on a US-brokered deal to normalize ties last month.
- Hamas warns of complications amid rise in COVID-19 infections in Gaza Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has warned against an unfolding health catastrophe amid a trend of new COVID-19 infections across the besieged Gaza Strip and an exhausted medical system.
- Tibetan Exile Political Leader Makes 'Landmark' First Visit to White House Radio Free Asia 23 Nov 2020 -- The head of Tibet's India-based exile government visited the White House last week for talks with administration officials in what is being called a 'landmark' development in U.S. policy regarding China's rule in the politically sensitive Himalayan region.
- Pangda village hyped by Indian media as in Bhutan is Chinese territory, satellite images, documents show Global Times 23 Nov 2020 -- With some Indian media hyping a Chinese village two kilometers within Bhutanese territory, which is claimed to the first one to be noticed in the area since the Doklam standoff, Chinese experts on border issues and China-India relationship refuted the reports, with a satellite image showing the village inside Chinese territory.
- Land Mine Kills Officer As Search Continues For Armenian, Azerbaijani Missing RFE/RL 23 Nov 2020 -- A land mine reportedly killed an Azerbaijani officer and wounded several ethnic Armenian officials and a Russian peacekeeper in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 23, in the latest reminder of lingering obstacles to identifying the dead two weeks after a cease-fire between archfoes Armenia and Azerbaijan.
- Ethiopian rebel leader dismisses surrender deadline, says forces 'ready to die' for homeland Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- The leader of rebels in Ethiopia's volatile Tigray region has dismissed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's deadline for their surrender within three days, saying his forces are "ready to die" defending their homeland.
- Ethiopian PM gives Tigray rebels 3-day ultimatum to surrender before govt. attack Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has given the rebels in the restive Tigray region in the north a 72-hour ultimatum to surrender before government troops launch an offensive on the provincial capital city Mekelle.
- UN, Rights Groups Urge Ethiopia to Protect Civilians VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- International rights groups urged Ethiopian forces to prioritize the safety of civilians in the Tigray region Monday as a 72-hour deadline for regional forces to surrender loomed.
- France at Odds with Mali Plan to Dialogue with Jihadists VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- The eight-year Islamist insurgency in the West African nation of Mali shows no sign of ending and after an August coup toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. The country's transitional government has indicated it is willing to open dialogue with all armed groups. France, which has more than 5,000 troops in the country, has warned against any discussions with jihadists.
- General Services Administration says Biden can begin transition into White House Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- The General Services Administration has finally informed President-elect Joe Biden to begin transition into the White House despite President Donald Trump's refusal to concede defeat in the 2020 presidential election.
- Biden Names His Diplomatic, National Security Team VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- U.S. President-elect Joe Biden signaled his intention to nominate his top diplomatic and national security team for his incoming administration on Monday, including one of his closest foreign affairs advisers, Antony Blinken, as secretary of state.
- Biden presidency will not be a third Obama term administration: Graham Allison Global Times 23 Nov 2020 -- World attention is on China-US relations as the US presidential election has ended. How will the next US administration shape China-US relations? What could be the flashpoints?
- Trump To Roll Out Stiff Bond Requirements For Visitors From 'Overstay' Countries, Including Iran, Afghanistan RFE/RL 23 Nov 2020 -- Washington announced on November 23 that it will launch a six-month trial program next month to force visitors from about two dozen countries to post thousands of dollars in bonds before they enter the United States.
- Fifteen Members and Associates of Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges US Dept. of Justice 23 Nov 2020 -- A superseding indictment was unsealed today against 15 defendants, including alleged members and associates of the South Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey-based criminal organization La Cosa Nostra (LCN), popularly known as the 'mafia' or 'mob.' The superseding indictment charges various crimes including racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, and drug trafficking.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on November 23, 2020 PRC MofA 23 Nov 2020
- High-Level US Visit to Asia Seen as Locking In Trump's Tough China Policy VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- U.S. national security advisor Robert O'Brien is visiting Vietnam and the Philippines this month to help bulk up international resistance against Chinese maritime expansion, a sore spot between the superpowers, in ways that outlast President Donald Trump's term in office, analysts say.
- China opposes US potential move to restrict 89 Chinese firms from buying US goods Global Times 23 Nov 2020 -- China firmly opposes US wanton suppression of Chinese companies and the US actions violate the principle of market competition as well as international economic and trade rules, and harm the interests and image of the US, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Monday.
- Three Hong Kong Democracy Activists Behind Bars in Police Protest Case Radio Free Asia 23 Nov 2020 -- Democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam on Monday pleaded guilty to public order charges in a Hong Kong court hearing, before being held in police custody pending a sentencing hearing scheduled for Dec. 2.
- 3 Hong Kong Prominent Pro-Democracy Activists in Custody VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- Three prominent pro-democracy activists were taken into custody Monday in Hong Kong after pleading guilty to charges related to a protest outside a police headquarters last June.
- China Obscures Probes Into Xinjiang Cotton Supply Chain Radio Free Asia 23 Nov 2020 -- Investigators looking for evidence of forced labor in clothing supply chains in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang on behalf of global fashion companies are unable to mount effective investigations into what is happening on the ground, auditors, rights activists and a former detainee told RFA.
- Chinese Rocket Chang Zheng 5 for Lunar Mission Chang'e 5 Launched From Spaceport in Hainan Sputnik 23 Nov 2020 -- A Chinese heavy-lift Chang Zheng 5 launch vehicle with a Chang'e 5 return vehicle, which is planned to land on the Moon, collect samples of lunar soil, and return with them to Earth, was launched from the cosmodrome at Hainan, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
- China Launches Lunar Probe VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- China successfully launched an unmanned spacecraft to the moon Monday to land, gather soil and rock samples, and return them to Earth.
- China's Long March-5 rocket filled with propellant for launch PLA Daily 23 Nov 2020 -- A Long March-5 rocket began to be filled with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen cryogenic propellant at about 6:30 p.m. (Beijing Time) Monday, said the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
- Netanyahu warns Biden: No return to Iran nuclear deal Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Israel's hawkish prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned the incoming US administration against returning to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, which President-elect Joe Biden has indicated to do after taking office.
- European Powers Meeting To Discuss Iran Nuclear Deal After Tehran's Latest Breach RFE/RL 23 Nov 2020 -- The German government says the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany are meeting in Berlin on November 23 for talks focusing on the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, days after the UN's atomic watchdog said Tehran had again breached the agreement.
- Baha'i Homes Reportedly Raided In Cities Across Iran RFE/RL 23 Nov 2020 -- Activists say Iranian security forces have raided the homes of dozens of Baha'is in several cities across the country, confiscating their personal belongings.
- Shooting Death of Newly Elected Myanmar Lawmaker Condemned as 'Lawless Act' Radio Free Asia 23 Nov 2020 -- Myanmar political parties and ethnic armies condemned the weekend shooting death of a newly elected ruling party member of parliament by unknown assailants in turbulent Shan state two weeks after a largely peaceful nationwide vote.
- France's former President Sarkozy appears in court on corruption charges Press TV 23 Nov 2020 -- Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has gone on trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling, becoming the first ex-president in France to appear in the dock.
- Ensuring an inclusive electoral process and a united response to humanitarian crises in Somalia UK FCDO 23 Nov 2020 -- Statement by Ambassador James Roscoe, Acting UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on Somalia
- Somalia at a crossroad, UN envoy urges 'deepened' political consensus UN News 23 Nov 2020 -- The "broad political consensus" reached in September that ended a two-year stalemate in Somalia must be "preserved and indeed deepened", the country's UN envoy told the Security Council on Monday.
- Hungary, Poland Remain Defiant in Standoff With EU VOA 23 Nov 2020 -- The European Union is no stranger to protracted fights, but a confrontation over the bloc's multiyear budget and conditions attached to the disbursement of a coronavirus recovery fund look set to play out for most of the rest of this year, deepening the rift between the western and eastern halves of the continent.
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