31 May 2021 Military News
- Commentary: To Safeguard Its Interests, India Needs To Step Up As Afghan Partner RFE/RL Gandhara 31 May 2021 -- The current period in Afghanistan has drawn comparisons to the 1990s in the country. As the United States withdraws its remaining troops, the Afghan political elite continues to fracture, and the government loses territory to a Taliban bent on challenging the legitimacy of the republic, India has found its Afghan policy at a crossroads. Amid the shifting contours of Kabul's political landscape, New Delhi is struggling to engage with the Taliban.
- Britain To Speed Up Relocation For Afghan Interpreters RFE/RL Gandhara 31 May 2021 -- Britain has announced plans to step up the relocation of Afghan staff who worked with the military and their families ahead of the completion of a planned withdrawal of U.S.-led NATO forces from the war-wracked country.
- UK plans to evacuate Afghan 'interpreters' under new policy Press TV 31 May 2021 -- As the UK prepares for a full retreat from Afghanistan plans have been announced to also evacuate local Afghans who have helped British forces since their deployment in 2002.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Exercise Phoenix Express Concludes in Tunisia AFRICOM 31 May 2021 -- U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa (NAVAF) Director of maritime partnership program, Rear Adm. Jeffrey S. Spivey joined Tunisian Minister of Defense Brahim Bertegi, Read Adm. Kevin Jones from U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), and U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, Donald Blome in marking the successful completion of the 16th iteration of the multinational maritime exercise Phoenix Express 2021 (PE21) in Tunis, Tunisia on May 28, 2021.
- Largest Checkered Flag exercise wraps up at Tyndall AFB US Air Force 31 May 2021 -- The largest Checkered Flag exercise held to date wrapped up at Tyndall Air Force Base, May 21.
- US media: Pentagon's shadow army operating across the world People's Daily 31 May 2021 -- A secret army of around 60,000 is carrying out domestic and foreign operations for the Pentagon in a program aimed at minimizing threats to US security, according to Newsweek magazine.
- Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs and NATO Ministers of Defence NATO 31 May 2021
- NATO Deputy Secretary General's visit to Romania NATO 31 May 2021 -- On the occasion of Exercise Steadfast Defender, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană visited the Headquarters of the Multinational Division South-East (HQ MND-SE), which he described as 'a prime example of NATO's adaptation'. 'It was set up to facilitate reinforcements in the eastern part of our Alliance, but also to boost training and exercising' he added during a joint press conference, held with the Romanian Minister of Defence, Mr. Nicolae Ciucă, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, and the Chief of Defence of Romania, Lt. Gen. Daniel Petrescu.
- NATO announces nomination of General Philippe Lavigne, French Air and Space Force, as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation NATO 31 May 2021 -- On 28 May 2021, the North Atlantic Council approved the nomination of General Philippe Lavigne, French Air and Space Force, to the post of Supreme Allied Commander Transformation.
- Russian Su-27 Scrambled to Escort US B-52H Bomber Over Baltic Sea Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- Russian fighter Su-27 was scrambled to escort the B-52H bomber of the US Air Force over the Baltic Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry's National Defense Control Center (NDCC) said.
- Russia to Create About 20 New Units in Its Western Military District to 'Adequately' Counter NATO Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- Responding to the actions of NATO countries, led by the United States, in the western strategic direction, the Russian Defence Ministry will create around 20 new formations and military units in the Western Military District by the end of the year, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.
- Russia to deploy military units near border in response to NATO: Defense minister Press TV 31 May 2021 -- Russia has decided to deploy nearly 20 new military units to the country's southwestern region by the end of the year, amid escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over the recent military build-ups along its borders.
- China's stealth chopper could be adaptation of Z-20; experts slam 'US copycat' claims Global Times 31 May 2021 -- China appears to be developing a stealth helicopter that analysts said on Monday is difficult to detect on radar, infrared sensors and human sight and hearing, judging from a model of the chopper recently revealed in a television report, with some speculating that it could be a stealthy variant of the Z-20 medium-lift utility chopper.
- MoD notifies 'Second Positive Indigenisation List' of 108 items to promote self-reliance & defence exports India PIB 31 May 2021 -- In pursuance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's endeavor of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'and to boost indigenisation in the Defence sector, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal of the Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence (MoD) to notify the 'Second Positive Indigenisation List' of 108 items
- India Bans Import of 108 Defence Items Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- In August 2020, the "First Positive Indigenisation", comprising 101 items of defence equipment, was released by the Indian Ministry of Defence. which banned the import of these items for a period of five years. The move is aimed at self-reliance in the defence sector and the development of capabilities for weapons sales in the future.
- Demands For Turkey to Scrap Russia's S-400 'Unacceptable,' Foreign Minister Says Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- In 2017, Turkey signed a deal with Russia to buy several S-400s, prompting the US to suspend shipments of fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to Ankara. Washington says the Russian air defence system are "incompatible" with its F-35s.
- Yemeni army releases new videos of successful operation in Saudi Arabia's Jizan Press TV 31 May 2021 -- The Yemeni army and the fighters from the Popular Committees have released new videos of a major operation carried out on May 28 against Saudi forces and Riyadh's mercenaries.
- Yemeni forces once again target King Khalid air base in southern Saudi Arabia Press TV 31 May 2021 -- The Yemeni army says it has carried out a fresh drone strike on a major air base in southern Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the Riyadh regime's ongoing bombardment campaign and blockade against the conflict-stricken Arab country.
- Houthi slams 'weak' UN response to Saudi blockade, Yemen humanitarian crisis Press TV 31 May 2021 -- The leader of Yemen's Ansarullah movement has decried the United Nations' "weak" response to the Saudi-led blockade imposed on Yemen, which is grappling with the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
- Houthis Claim To Have Struck Saudi Arabia Military Base With Drone Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- Earlier in May, the Houthi movement said that they shelled the southwestern Saudi border city of Najran and a Saudi Aramco facility, using drones and missiles.
- Egypt, Israel FMs discuss Gaza ceasefire, Israeli-Palestinian peace process People's Daily 31 May 2021 -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Sunday with his visiting Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi to discuss solidifying the recent truce in the Gaza Strip and ways to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
- Chad accuses Central African Republic troops of war crime Press TV 31 May 2021 -- Chad's defense ministry has accused troops from neighboring Central African Republic (CAR) of attacking a Chadian military post and committing acts of aggression that it said amounted to a war crime.
- Turkey Ready for Dialogue With Greece to Resolve Differences, Cavusoglu Says Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- Turkey is ready for a dialogue with Greece in order to resolve their differences and improve long-strained bilateral relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday following his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
- Attacks on Election Offices in Nigeria Raise Concerns VOA 31 May 2021 -- Nigerian political observers are expressing concern over the many attacks on the facilities of Nigeria's electoral body - the Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC. INEC officials say the commission has recorded at least 42 attacks on its facilities since the last polls in 2019.
- Americans Divided Over Whether to Continue Investigating Jan. 6 Riot or Turn the Page VOA 31 May 2021 -- Harvey Wasserman is a resident of Florida and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He voted for Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections but watched in horror as hundreds of supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol Building January 6.
- US spy agency colluded with Denmark to snoop on Merkel, other top EU leaders: Reports Press TV 31 May 2021 -- The infamous US spy network, National Security Agency (NSA), has reportedly colluded with Denmark's military intelligence unit, FE, to snoop on senior European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
- Norway, Sweden Demand Answers on Espionage After Report of Denmark Helping NSA Spy on EU Politicians Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- While Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen reiterated that wiretapping allies is "unacceptable", researchers and analysts have warned of an "intelligence scandal" in Denmark and compared Copenhagen's "very precarious" position to that of a "louse pressed between two nails".
- Navalny Asks Russian Court To End Nighttime Prison Security Checks RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny asked a court on May 31 to halt the hourly nighttime checks he has been subjected to in his penal colony, saying the measure amounts to "torture."
- Former Chief Of Open Russia Reportedly Removed From Flight, Detained RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- The former executive director of Open Russia, a pro-democracy movement founded by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has reportedly been removed from a plane in St. Petersburg and detained.
- Russian News Outlet NEWSru Closes Down, Citing 'Political Situation' RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- The Russian online media outlet NEWSru has announced its closure, blaming the country's current "political situation," which has made it economically impossible to function, as advertisers shun independent sources of information.
- Lavrov: Russia Will Not Leave New EU Unfriendly Steps Without Response Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- Russia will not leave without a response the new unfriendly steps that are under preparation in the European Union, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
- With Kremlin Tight-Lipped About Putin's Talks With Lukashenka, Some Are Instead Asking: 'Where Did He Get That Yacht?' RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- The Russian public is used to being left in the dark about what President Vladimir Putin discusses with high officials and the heads of other former Soviet republics. Official photos of Putin and his guests provide the fodder for headlines - and countless memes - that often follow.
- British, Other Western Intel Agencies Assist US in Wuhan Probe VOA 31 May 2021 -- Britain's intelligence agencies — along with other Western European security services — are assisting a new American investigation to try to establish the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, according to officials on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on May 31, 2021 PRC MofA 31 May 2021
- China's New 'Three-Child Policy' Sparks Skepticism Over Costs to Parents Radio Free Asia 31 May 2021 -- The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Monday unveiled new plans to boost flagging birth rates and reverse population aging, raising the official limit on the number of children per couple from two to three.
- China to allow couples to have 3 children, step 'leading to fertility-friendly society' Global Times 31 May 2021 -- China on Monday announced to further lift its family planning policy to allow each couple to have up to three children after the number of the country's newborns declined for four years straight, a major policy shift from the current two-child policy. Chinese demographers believed the new move was not simply a birth stimulation plan, but a significant step leading to more policy changes in improving China's demographic structure and actively responding to the aging trend.
- China to support couples having third child People's Daily 31 May 2021 -- China will support couples that wish to have a third child, according to a meeting of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China Central Committee held on Monday.
- Xi chairs leadership meeting to address ageing of population People's Daily 31 May 2021 -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Monday chaired a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to hear reports on major policy measures to actively address the ageing of population during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).
- Hong Kong Electoral Reform Officially Enters Into Force Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- The new law that introduces changes into the electoral system of Hong Kong entered into force on Monday, the city government announced.
- Chinese Dissidents Sent on Forced 'Vacations' Ahead of Tiananmen Anniversary Radio Free Asia 31 May 2021 -- Authorities in Beijing are forcing dissidents and rights activists to leave town ahead of the politically sensitive June 4 anniversary of the bloodshed, which ended weeks of student-led protests in Beijing and other Chinese cities in the spring of 1989.
- China publishes document on strengthening CPC leadership in corporate governance of central enterprises Global Times 31 May 2021 -- The General Office of the CPC Central Committee recently published a document that clarifies the rights and duties of Party committees in central enterprises to make decisions, implement tasks and supervise companies, according to Xinhua News Agency on Sunday.
- Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of National Defense on May 27 PLA Daily 31 May 2021
- What Is Aim of Termination of "Missile Guidelines" KCNA 31 May 2021 -- Kim Myong Chol, an international affairs critic, issued the following article titled "What is the aim of the termination of 'missile guidelines'":
- North Korea slams termination of US pact curbing South Korea's missile range Press TV 31 May 2021 -- North Korea has denounced the termination of a pact between Washington and Seoul that limited South Korea's ballistic missile program, describing the move as both an "aggression" and "shameful double-dealing."
- DPRK Slams Lifting of South Korean Missile Caps as Example of US' 'Shameful Double-Dealing' - Report Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- During their May 21 meeting in Washington, DC, South Korean President Moon Jae In and US President Joe Biden agreed to lift the guidance on Seoul's use of missiles, which implied restrictions on the development and use of missiles with a range of more than 800 kilometers.
- Iran Talks With Saudi Arabia on Restoring Relations Continue in 'Good Atmosphere' Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- Last month, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Iran and Saudi Arabia, "as two important countries in the region and the Muslim world," had a chance to open a "new chapter of interaction and cooperation".
- Iran Says Talks On Reaching 'Common Understanding' With Saudi Arabia Taking Place In 'Good Atmosphere' RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- Iran says ongoing talks on reaching a "common understanding" with regional rival Saudi Arabia are taking place in a "good atmosphere."
- Iran Says Progress Made In Nuclear Talks But Problems Remain RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- Iran says substantial progress has been made in talks with world powers to revive a landmark nuclear deal, but critical issues remain unresolved.
- Iran, E3, China, Russia confer on JCPOA in Vienna IRNA 31 May 2021 -- Iran's negotiating delegation in two separating meetings with Russia, China, EU, and E3 on Monday examined the latest Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action aka JCPOA revival talks.
- Iran, Russia, China continue talks on JCPOA in Vienna IRNA 31 May 2021 -- Senior diplomats from Iran, Russia and China discussed the case of a 2015 Iran nuclear deal – known as JCPOA – in a meeting in Vienna on Monday.
- Iran meticulously continues Vienna talks IRNA 31 May 2021 -- The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Tehran continues Vienna talks with meticulousness as the country's stance has already been declared.
- Intense talks between Iran, P4+1 countries on JCPOA revival continue in Vienna Press TV 31 May 2021 -- Iran's negotiators continue intense multilateral talks with the remaining members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six world powers in 2015, to revive the agreement, which was abandoned three years later by the former US administration.
- Iran's Top Negotiator Reportedly Says Nuclear Talks Unlikely to Conclude in Current Round Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- Iran's top negotiator on the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Abbas Araqchi, said that the fifth round of talks was difficult and unlikely to be the last, media reported.
- IAEA report reflects Iran's implementation of Majlis' strategic law: Envoy Press TV 31 May 2021 -- Iran's permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations says a recent report by the UN nuclear agency serves to verify the Islamic Republic's implementation of a strategic parliamentary law that has widened the scope of the country's nuclear countermeasures.
- Iran's enriched uranium stockpile 16 times over nuclear deal limit: IAEA Press TV 31 May 2021 -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium is around 16 times the limit laid down in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and major world powers in 2015.
- IAEA: Iran Has Exceeded Nuclear Deal Uranium Enrichment Limit Stockpile by 16 Times Sputnik 31 May 2021 -- Iran is currently in talks with global powers over reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the US unilaterally abandoned in 2018.
- Rohingya Protest as UN Officials Visit Bangladesh Refugee Island Radio Free Asia 31 May 2021 -- A protest by hundreds of Rohingya turned violent on Monday as senior U.N. officials visited a remote and low-lying island where Bangladesh is housing more than 18,000 of the stateless refugees from Myanmar, police said.
- Myanmar's Economic Meltdown Likely to Push Opium Output Up, Says UN VOA 31 May 2021 -- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is warning that opium production in Myanmar may rise again if the economic crunch brought on by COVID-19 and a February 1 coup persists, with fallout for much of the region.
- Chemicals in, Meth out: Asia's Golden Triangle Drug Trade Goes Into Overdrive VOA 31 May 2021 -- A large haul of precursor chemicals in Laos since the end of last year has revealed` the new recipe being used by the methamphetamine cooks of Asia and the routes crime groups are using to get raw materials from Chinese factories, through Thai ports and into the narcotics labs of the Golden Triangle.
- NATO Restricts Access Of Belarusian Officials To Its Headquarters After Ryanair Incident RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said personnel at Belarus's diplomatic mission to the alliance will have their access restricted at its headquarters in the wake of the forced landing of a passenger plane by Minsk and the arrest of an opposition journalist who was on board the plane.
- Amid France's Africa Reset, Old Ties Underscore Challenge of Breaking With Past VOA 31 May 2021 -- After outlining a fresh chapter in French-African relations, with calls for massive economic support for Africa and visits to Rwanda and South Africa last week, President Emmanuel Macron is back home to confront familiar and thorny problems in France's former colonies, underscoring the challenges of breaking with the past.
- Prominent Pakistani Journalist Says Banned From TV After Speech Criticizing Military RFE/RL Gandhara 31 May 2021 -- Hamid Mir, Pakistan's most prominent TV presenter, says he has been banned from his primetime nightly talk show after he made an emotional speech critical of the military.
- Pakistani TV Talk Show Host Taken Off Air Allegedly for Criticizing Military VOA 31 May 2021 -- A popular television political talk show host in Pakistan said Monday his employer had removed him from the job for his criticism of the country's powerful military.
- Turkey's Erdogan Under Renewed Pressure Following Mafia Boss Allegations VOA 31 May 2021 -- The Turkish government is facing accusations of arming and funding jihadists in Syria. The allegations are just the latest by an exiled mafia boss in a weekly YouTube broadcast that are putting the Turkish president in an increasingly tight spot.
- Mob boss: Turkey sent arms to Syria's al-Nusra through private military contractor Press TV 31 May 2021 -- A Turkish mob boss and former ally of the country's president has accused the country's ruling party of conspiring with a pro-government paramilitary contractor to divert aid intended for the Turkish minority in Syria to the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, in the war-ravaged Arab country.
- Georgia's Main Opposition Ends Monthslong Boycott Of Parliament RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- Georgia's main opposition leader, Nika Melia, has said that his United National Movement (ENM) will enter parliament after a nearly seven-month boycott.
- Former Kyrgyz PM Detained In Gold-Mine Investigation RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- Former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov has been detained as part of an investigation into corruption during the development of the Kumtor gold-mine project.
- Polls Open in Somaliland's Local and Parliamentary Elections VOA 31 May 2021 -- Polling stations have opened in the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland as voters go to the polls to elect their parliamentary and local representatives.
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