04 December 2020 Military News
- U.S. Withdraws Some Staff From U.S. Embassy In Iraq Amid Tensions With Iran RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- The United States is partially withdrawing some staff from its embassy in Baghdad as tensions with Iran and Iraqi militia groups spike.
- Pakistan Says Afghan Border Fence Nearly Complete VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- Pakistan's military says it will have fenced off the country's roughly 2,600-kilometer historically porous border with Afghanistan within the next two months.
- Somalia Force Posture Announcement DoD 04 Dec 2020 -- The President of the United States has ordered the Department of Defense and the United States Africa Command to reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021.
- Trump orders Pentagon to pull nearly all troops from Somalia Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- US President Donald President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to withdraw nearly all of the hundreds of American troops deployed to Somalia, which is part of a global pullback by the outgoing president that will also see him drawdown forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defense Policy / Programs
- DOS and DOD Officials Brief Reporters on Fiscal 2020 Arms Transfer Figures DoD 04 Dec 2020 -- R. Clarke Cooper, Assistant Secretary Of State For Political-Military Affairs; Heidi Grant, Director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency
- This Week in Operation Warp Speed - Dec. 4, 2020 DoD 04 Dec 2020
- U.S., Australia Sign Agreement to Develop Virtual Training Range DoD News 04 Dec 2020 -- As part of the Defense Department's efforts to sharpen lethality, reform business practices and strengthen partnerships in cyberspace, the U.S. and Australia have launched the first agreement to continuously develop a virtual cyber training range.
- COVID-19 Draws Attention to Defense Industrial Base Vulnerabilities DoD News 04 Dec 2020 -- When COVID-19 flared up earlier this year, the government and military looked for the medical supplies needed to keep citizens and medical personnel safe. The search put a spotlight on a fact the Defense Department had become aware of but not many had talked about: Many goods and supplies critical to the nation are not made in the U.S., but overseas — and, many times, their manufacture was by nations the U.S. doesn't consider to be allies, said the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.
- Trump Criticizes Defense Spending Bill Over Provision to Rename Confederate Bases Sputnik 04 Dec 2020 -- US President Donald Trump criticized on Friday 2021 defense spending bill over a provision to rename military bases that honor Confederate commanders.
- CAR Minister of Defense and AFRICOM Deputy Commander for Civil-Military Engagement Praise Strengthened U.S.-CAR Military Ties AFRICOM 04 Dec 2020 -- Stuttgart, Germany -- Ambassador Andrew Young, U.S. Africa Command's deputy commander for civil-military engagement, spoke with the Central African Republic's Minister of Defense Marie-Noelle Koyara last week.
- DOD Announces $74.9 Million in Defense Production Act Title III COVID-19 Actions DoD 04 Dec 2020 -- Today, the Department of Defense announced eight Defense Production Act Title III actions to sustain and strengthen essential domestic industrial base capabilities and defense-critical workforce in the shipbuilding, ground systems, clothing and textile, and aircraft industries, utilizing funds appropriated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
- Statement on New Appointments to the Defense Business Board DoD 04 Dec 2020
- Officials Describe How Arms Sales Benefit the U.S., Partners DoD News 04 Dec 2020 -- Officials today announced the fiscal year 2020 arms transfer figures and other Defense and State Department security assistance and cooperation accomplishments and statistics.
- Air Safety Panel Recommends Flight Hour Increase, Emphasis on Maintenance, Steady Funding DoD News 04 Dec 2020 -- BY Years of budgetary indifference has severely impacted military aviation causing a degradation of readiness and — tragically — a loss of lives.
- New DOD Directive Will Improve Acquisition Reform, Officials Say DoD News 04 Dec 2020 -- On Sept. 8, Deputy Secretary of Defense David L. Norquist signed Defense Department Directive 5000.01, "The Defense Acquisition System."
- Seabees and Marines power III MEF and MCIPAC USMC News 04 Dec 2020 -- Day in and day out U.S. Navy Seabees work to fulfill their motto "We build, we fight, we do", training General Facility Marines in a joint-effort to help protect and maintain III Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installation Pacific facilities.
- U.S. Marines Complete Norway Deployment for Arctic Warfare Training USMC News 04 Dec 2020 -- U.S. Marines and Sailors from Marine Rotational Force-Europe completed their intensive arctic training Sunday, marking the end of a six-week deployment to Setermoen, Norway, and have returned to their home station, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
- Germany Committed to Hosting US Troops Within Its Borders, Foreign Minister Says Sputnik 04 Dec 2020 -- Germany is not aware of an alleged US decision to stop the withdrawal of its troops and will fulfill its obligations to host US forces in the country, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Friday.
- Germany: US Troops Welcome Here VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- Germany's foreign minister said Friday he is glad the U.S. Congress appears to believe U.S. troops should stay in his country at current levels.
- Deputy Secretary General Geoana addresses the European Defence Agency Annual Conference NATO 04 Dec 2020 -- Speaking at the European Defence Agency Annual Conference on 4 December, the NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said that sustaining European defence is very important for NATO because European defence is "inextricably linked to transatlantic defence".
- NATO Deputy Secretary General spoke on the importance of partnership with Colombia NATO 04 Dec 2020 -- NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană spoke on Thursday 3 December at the Concordia Americas Summit on the importance of having global partnerships with countries like Colombia, to counter common challenges such as pandemics, terrorism or climate change.
- Deputy Secretary General addresses the NATO Web Conference on Modular Design NATO 04 Dec 2020 -- Speaking at the NATO web conference "Modular Design - Creating a NATO Capability App Store" on 3 December 2020, Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana said that engaging with experts from different areas and backgrounds is important for NATO in order to speed up adoption of new technology.
- PLA naval escort taskforce conducts in-port replenishment in Djibouti PLA Daily 04 Dec 2020 -- The comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu (Hull 960) attached to the 36th escort taskforce of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy left the Port of Djibouti recently after more than 7 hours' in-port replenishment. This is the first in-port replenishment of the taskforce since it set sail from China on September 3. And all the supplies of the in-port replenishment came from domestic China.
- China rotates its peacekeeping infantry battalion in South Sudan PLA Daily 04 Dec 2020 -- The first echelon's 350 peacekeepers of the Chinese 7th peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan departed on December 3 from north China's Tianjin Municipality for a one-year peacekeeping mission.
- China sends 350 peacekeepers to South Sudan People's Daily 04 Dec 2020 -- A 350-member echelon of China's seventh peacekeeping infantry battalion to Juba, South Sudan, on Thursday departed north China's Tianjin on a one-year mission.
- UAE to turn elsewhere if Washington refuses to supply weapons it needs: Envoy Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to the United States says his country will be forced to turn elsewhere and acquire the weapons it needs in case Washington refuses to supply the Persian Gulf state with required munitions.
- Passage Exercise (PASSEX) between Russian Federation Navy and Indian Navy in Eastern Indian Ocean Region India PIB 04 Dec 2020 -- The Indian Navy (IN) is undertaking a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Russian Federation Navy (RuFN) in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR) from 4 to 5 December 2020.
- Australia - 155mm Ammunition and Accessories DSCA 04 Dec 2020 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of 155mm Ammunition and Accessories, and related equipment, for an estimated cost of $132.2 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo At the IISS Manama Dialogue US Dept. of State 04 Dec 2020
- 4 December 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 04 Dec 2020
- UN, international aid agencies warn US against plan to blacklist Yemen's Ansarullah Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- The United Nations and international aid agencies have warned the United States against its plan to label Yemen's popular Houthi Ansarullah movement as a foreign terrorist organization, raising concerns that such a move would prevent life-saving aid reaching the war-wracked country and would derail a related $700 million aid program.
- Syrian Constitutional Talks Marked by Differences, Tensions VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- A week of U.N.-sponsored Syrian peace talks have been marked by strong differences between government and opposition delegates on what form a new constitution for the battered country should take.
- UN pledges humanitarian support as Armenia and Azerbaijan negotiate 'lasting, peaceful settlement' over Nagorno-Karabakh UN News 04 Dec 2020 -- The UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the continuing ceasefire in and around Nagorno-Karabakh on Friday, underlining that the Organization stands ready to provide humanitarian support to meet the needs of all civilians impacted by conflict.
- Bangladesh starts 'coercive' relocation of Rohingya refugees to remote island Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- Bangladesh has started forced removal of hundreds of Rohingya Muslim refugees to a controversial facility at a remote island in the Bay of Bengal.
- Rohingya Refugees Relocated by Bangladesh Begin Arriving on Remote Island VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- The Bangladesh government has begun sending some Rohingya refugees to the controversial Bhasan Char island, despite calls from human rights groups to halt the process.
- UN working at 'full speed' to prepare for humanitarian mission to Ethiopia's Tigray UN News 04 Dec 2020 -- The UN's humanitarian coordination office, said on Friday that it was doing its utmost to secure aid access to Ethiopia's Tigray region, after a deal was struck to reach displaced civilians, following weeks of fighting between federal and regional forces.
- UNHCR Ready to Provide Aid in Tigray as Soon as Access Restored VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- The U.N. refugee agency reports it is ready to resume its humanitarian operation in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region as soon as the Ethiopian government gives it the green light to go ahead.
- US Congress Targets Nord Stream 2, Turkey S-400 Purchase in New Defense Bill Sputnik 04 Dec 2020 -- The US Congress is taking aim at Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline and Turkey over its acquisition of the S-400 air defense system in the new National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 that has been finalized and is expected to pass in both houses as early as next week.
- Russia Arrests Hypersonic Aircraft Scientist For High Treason RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- A Russian court has ordered the arrest of a physicist specializing in hypersonic aircraft on suspicion of high treason.
- Russia detains physicist for passing info abroad Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- Russian authorities detain a physicist on suspicion of treason for passing classified information about the country's aviation industry to foreign governments.
- The Week In Russia: Fear, Racism, Normalcy, And Numbers RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- A remark in Barack Obama's memoir and a racist TV sketch targeting the former U.S. president play into persistent questions about Russia's image in the world. The country's official COVID-19 numbers also face questions as the toll rises and the Kremlin seeks to ramp up availability of a vaccine that was rushed to approval in August.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 4, 2020 PRC MofA 04 Dec 2020
- Rubio, Warner Joint Statement on National Security Threat Posed by China Senator Rubio 04 Dec 2020 -- Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Acting Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) released the following joint statement regarding the challenge posed to the United States by the Chinese government and Communist Party:
- U.S. Imposes Sanctions on People's Republic of China Officials Engaged in Coercive Influence Activities US Dept. of State 04 Dec 2020 -- The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long sought to spread Marxist-Leninist ideology and exert its influence all over the world. The CCP's United Front Work Department funds and supports overseas organizations to spread propaganda and coerces and bullies those who would oppose Beijing's policies.
- Termination of PRC-Funded Propaganda Programs US Dept. of State 04 Dec 2020 -- Today, the Department of State terminated five programs, disguised as "cultural exchanges," with the People's Republic of China (PRC).
- US Slaps Sanctions on Chinese Officials Over 'Coercive Influence Activities' Sputnik 04 Dec 2020 -- Washington has repeatedly accused Beijing of allegedly luring neighbouring states into its sphere of influence with lucrative economic offers or business deals in order to influence their domestic and foreign policies. China, however, denies being involved in "malign" activities in regards to its neighbours.
- Despite calling China a 'security threat,' US is the most militant nation on earth: FM Global Times 04 Dec 2020 -- Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese Embassy to the US on Friday refuted an article in the Wall Street Journal which called China "national security threat No. 1," criticizing the fact-distorting article which laid bare the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice in the current administration, ignoring the fact that the US is the most militant country on earth.
- US urged to stop abusing 'state power' in crackdown on Chinese firms Global Times 04 Dec 2020 -- China's Foreign Ministry on Friday harshly criticized the latest decision by the US to blacklist four Chinese companies, including leading chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), saying it violates international trade rules and will hurt the US' national interests and image.
- China braces for "open-ended confrontation with America': US spy chief Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- The top US spy chief has accused China of preparing for "an open-ended period of confrontation with the US," in another effort by the outgoing administration of Donald Trump to further escalate tensions with Beijing in its final days in the White House.
- Trump adds China's SMIC and CNOOC to defense blacklist Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- The administration of US President Donald Trump has added China's main chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies.
- US Imposes Visa Sanctions on Chinese Officials Active in United Front Activities Radio Free Asia 04 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. on Friday imposed new visa sanctions on Chinese officials it said are "engaged in coercive influence activities" to overcome opposition to Beijing's political goals, including policies that have led to rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet.
- China replaces US to become largest trade partner of EU Global Times 04 Dec 2020 -- China replaces the US to become the largest trade partner of the EU in the third quarter of this year, reflecting the resilience and potential of China-EU economic and trade relationship, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing on Friday.
- HK stresses lawmakers' loyalty 'bottom-line' on Constitution Day Global Times 04 Dec 2020 -- The decision adopted by China's top legislature on the qualifications of Hong Kong lawmakers further clarifies the "bottom line" and political rules for "patriots governing Hong Kong," ensuring that all politicians uphold the Constitution, the Basic Law, and are loyal to the country and Hong Kong, expelling those who pose a danger to the country and Hong Kong from the local governance structure, a senior Chinese official said on Friday.
- Hong Kong police vow to arrest absconding ex-lawmaker People's Daily 04 Dec 2020 -- The Hong Kong police said they will track down and arrest ex-lawmaker Ted Hui who absconded during a trial.
- China Hits Out at 'Interference' Amid Growing Concerns Over Hong Kong Crackdown Radio Free Asia 04 Dec 2020 -- China on Friday hit out at Denmark for what it termed "interference in Hong Kong's affairs" after former Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui traveled to the country at the invitation of Danish lawmakers.
- Chinese company wins bid for the first phase of the African CDC project Global Times 04 Dec 2020 -- A Chinese company wins bid for the first phase of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention project (African CDC) of the African Union on Wednesday. A milestone in cooperation between China and African countries to strengthen their public health and epidemic prevention systems.
- Over 152,000 Chinese officials held accountable in China's anti-corruption campaign this year Global Times 04 Dec 2020 -- A total of 152,850 officials have been held accountable across China this year for violating the eight-point regulation, rules that were released by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in December 2012 to improve Party and government conduct.
- China's spacecraft takes off from moon with samples People's Daily 04 Dec 2020 -- A Chinese spacecraft carrying the country's first lunar samples blasted off from the moon late Thursday, the China National Space Administration announced.
- China Urged to Stop Coal Projects Immediately Radio Free Asia 04 Dec 2020 -- Environmental advocates are zeroing in on the conflict between China's plans to build hundreds of new coal-fired power plants and its pledge to become carbon-neutral four decades from now.
- Red Cross Pulls Foreign Staff Out of North Korea as Quarantine Measures Intensify Radio Free Asia 04 Dec 2020 -- The last remaining foreign Red Cross staff left North Korea this week, the latest departure in the exodus of aid workers and diplomats from the country due to increasingly strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the aid organization said.
- North Korea Publicly Executes Smuggler for Violating COVID-19 Quarantine Rule Radio Free Asia 04 Dec 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea have publicly executed a citizen for violating "emergency quarantine measures," in an effort to scare other citizens into strict compliance, sources in the country told RFA.
- Zarif tells German FM Maas, E3 to correct own conduct before lecturing Iran Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif fires back at his German counterpart over the latter's call for renegotiation of the 2015 nuclear agreement and claims about Iran's national defense program, saying the European parties to the Iran deal should first change their own harmful behavior before lecturing the Islamic Republic.
- Pompeo claims Iran keen to return to nuclear talks for sanctions relief Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has tried to defend during his final days in office the illegal "maximum pressure campaign" by the Trump administration against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- Biden says he remains committed to the Iran nuclear deal Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- The projected winner of the 2020 disputed US election, Joe Biden, says he remains committed to the principles of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
- Iran Violating 2015 Nuclear Deal Again With Use Of Advanced Centrifuges, Reuters Reports RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- Iran plans to install more advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges at an underground plant in breach of its troubled deal with major powers, Reuters reported on December 4, citing a UN nuclear watchdog report.
- Top US Diplomat Says Iran Desperate to Negotiate Ending Sanctions VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that Iran was "desperately" suggesting it is eager to resume negotiations to get sanctions relief.
- U.S. Commends Slovenia for Designating Hizballah US Dept. of State 04 Dec 2020 -- This week, Slovenia designated Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, rejecting the false distinction between Hizballah's political and military wings.
- Hungary's Orban Says He Won't Budge In EU Budget Dispute Over 'Rule Of Law' Clause RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reiterated on December 4 that Budapest will not accept a clause on observing the rule of law attached to the European Union's budget and coronavirus-recovery fund, prompting Brussels to warn both Hungary and Poland that the bloc is ready to proceed without them.
- EU Will Overcome Veto by Hungary, Poland on Budget, Recovery Fund, Bloc's Economy Commissioner Says Sputnik 04 Dec 2020 -- The European Union will be able to overcome the veto imposed by Hungary and Poland on the EU budget and recovery fund, European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday.
- Belarus: End ongoing human rights violations, UN rights chief urges UN News 04 Dec 2020 -- The human rights situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate, particularly with respect to peaceful assembly, the UN rights chief said on Friday, urging the government to put an end to ongoing violations and "take steps towards a genuine, respectful and inclusive national dialogue".
- UN Rights Chief Condemns Deteriorating Human Rights in Belarus VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned gross violations of human rights in Belarus on Friday, calling on the government to put an end to the abusive treatment of its people.
- Kazakhstan Accused Of Using Baseless Tax Claims To Pressure Rights Groups RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- Several international rights watchdogs have accused Kazakh authorities of launching a pressure campaign on human rights organizations by making baseless claims about tax improprieties.
- Erdogan hopes France will 'get rid of' Macron soon Press TV 04 Dec 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he hopes France will "get rid of" President Emmanuel Macron in the shortest possible time, in his harshest remark against the French leader yet.
- Turkey's Erdogan Hopes France Will Get Rid of 'Burden' of Macron Soon Sputnik 04 Dec 2020 -- Relations between the two countries have drastically deteriorated in recent months over Macron's comments on Islam and controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. However, the two countries also disagree on a number of issues, such as Nagorno-Karabakh, the war in Syria, and Turkey's oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean.
- Turkey's Space Strategy: Trilateral Cooperation With Russia, Kazakhstan is Logical, Agency Head Says Sputnik 04 Dec 2020 -- Independent access to space has become one of Turkey's national priorities under the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government. Turkey's Space Agency head, Serdar Hüseyin Yildirim, has shed light on the agency's priorities, plans, aspirations, and joint projects underway.
- Singing Off-Key? Kyiv, Budapest Clash Over Rights Of Ethnic Hungarians In Ukraine RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- The inaugural council session in a sleepy village on the western fringes of Ukraine was winding down in late November when members broke out in song, including the national anthem of Hungary.
- Ukraine's Parliament Restores Anti-Corruption Legislation Annulled By Highest Court RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- Ukraine's parliament voted on December 4 to reimpose penalties for officials who provide false information about their incomes, defying an earlier ruling from the nation's highest court.
- Familiar Balkan Turbulence Strikes Just As Montenegro's Landmark Government Takes Off RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- Its ostensible target was Belgrade, and it was almost certainly an intended broadside against Podgorica's new government.
- Montenegrin Lawmakers Approve Government, End Three Decades Of Socialist Party Rule RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- Montenegrin lawmakers have approved a new cabinet after a coalition comprised of pro-Serb, center-right and green parties won an election, ushering in the first transfer of power in three decades.
- 20 Potential Kyrgyz Presidential Candidates Submit Fees And Signatures RFE/RL 04 Dec 2020 -- Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission (BShK) says 20 potential candidates for the January 10 presidential election have submitted the required fees and signatures from their supporters to register for the vote.
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