28 December 2021 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- Increased COVID-19 Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation DoD 28 Dec 2021 -- The Pentagon Reservation remains at Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Bravo Plus (Bravo +). However, as we have seen an increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and positive test results in the National Capitol Region in recent weeks, the Director of Administration and Management (DA&M) is implementing a few additional mitigation measures on the Pentagon Reservation to protect the workforce, their families, our communities, and our support to the no-fail mission of the Department of Defense.
- Bump in COVID-19 Cases in D.C. Area Spurs Additional Mitigation Efforts at Pentagon DoD News 28 Dec 2021 -- An increase in new COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region — the area including and surrounding Washington, D.C., where most of the Pentagon workforce lives — has spurred Defense Department leadership to implement some additional safety measures to prevent its own workforce from becoming ill or contributing to new cases.
- Cyber commandos offer unique capability for joint force US Air Force 28 Dec 2021 -- The ability to communicate freely and readily over a secure network is becoming more and more important for combatant commanders in today's world as technology progresses.
- Austin Directs US Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Truman Stay in Mediterranean to Reassure Allies Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- The United States is retaining a nuclear aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean instead of sending it on to the Middle East in order to reassure allies as tensions remain high over Ukraine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, according to a US Navy report on Tuesday.
- U.S. Navy Seabees with NMCB-5 Support Pacific Air Forces US Navy 28 Dec 2021 -- U.S. Navy Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 built two driveways for the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) onboard Naval Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia.
- NATO jets scrambled hundreds of times in 2021 to guard Allied airspace NATO 28 Dec 2021 -- NATO fighter jets scrambled around 370 times across Europe in 2021, mostly to check aircraft flying unannounced near Allied air space. Around 80 percent of the missions, 290 in total, were in response to flights by Russian military aircraft.
- Russia warns against NATO's eastward expansion, large-scale military confrontation Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- NATO is preparing itself for a large-scale armed confrontation with Moscow, says Russia's deputy defense minister, warning against the US-led alliance's eastward expansion.
- Russia's 'Flying Laboratory' Reportedly Scrambled to Shadow US Spy Plane Over Black Sea Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the US and NATO's escalating activity in the Black Sea, warning that it may result in unwanted incidents.
- Russia to Take Hardline Approach in Defending National Interests at Talks With US, FM Lavrov Says Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- Russia will firmly defend its national interests at the upcoming security talks with the United States and NATO in January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, vowing not to make any unilateral concessions without taking the balance of interest into account.
- Russia vows to firmly defend national interests at talks with US, NATO Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- Russia say it will firmly defend its national interests at upcoming talks with the United States and NATO, amid rising tensions between Moscow and the West.
- PLA Army brigade incorporates damage effect into artillery fire evaluation system PLA Daily 28 Dec 2021 -- In mid December, a brigade with the PLA 78th Group Army held an artillery live-fire assessment, which not only focused on the fire rate and accuracy, but also examined whether the actual damage effect of shells meets expectations.
- Germany will not export arms to Saudi Arabia over Yemen war, new government says Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- A German deputy government spokesman says the country will not export weapons to Saudi Arabia over its devastating war on its impoverished neighbor, Yemen.
- France's Naval Group Denies Knowledge About Any Discussions Between Paris and Delhi on Nuclear Subs Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- While France has doubled down on its partnerships with countries in the Asia-Pacific after being snubbed by Australia, the US, and the UK in the wake of the AUKUS pact announcement, experts say it is unlikely that it will replicate AUKUS' example to transfer nuclear defence technology to non-permanent members of the UNSC.
- Russia Offers India to Develop New Tank Based on Armata, Military Agency Says Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- Moscow has offered New Delhi to develop a new Indian combat tank on the basis of the Russian Armata platform, the spokeswoman for Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Valeria Reshetnikova, told Sputnik.
- Biden signs annual defense bill suggesting Taiwan RIMPAC invite CNA 28 Dec 2021 -- United States President Joe Biden signed an annual defense bill into law Monday with provisions aimed at improving Taiwan's asymmetric capabilities and enhancing defense and security cooperation, including possibly inviting Taiwan to the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC).
- Turkey to Work on Domestic Air Defence System to Replace S-400, Patriot, Reports Say Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- Turkey will continue developing new air defence systems as part of domestic missile defence projects in 2022, which could substitute Russian S-400 and the US Patriot air defence complexes, national media reported on Tuesday.
- US to finance projects, provide hardware to strengthen Ukraine's borders with Russia, Belarus Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- Ukraine says the United States will finance projects and procure hardware, including surveillance and monitoring equipment, to strengthen its borders with Russia and Belarus, amid tensions between the West and Moscow.
- Excess Military Equipment? Kiev, Washington 'Working' on Deal to Supply More US Arms to Ukraine Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- Russia has repeatedly warned that supplying weapons to Ukraine may escalate the military conflict in the country's eastern Donbass region, a stance that is also echoed by a number of European officials.
- Philippines signs $554M deal for 2 South Korean-made warships Radio Free Asia 28 Dec 2021 -- The Philippines signed a deal valued at U.S. $554 million Tuesday to buy two small warships from a South Korean manufacturer, officials said, as Manila seeks to modernize its navy amid perceived security threats over South China Sea territorial disputes.
- Indonesia seeks cooperation among ASEAN coast guards Radio Free Asia 28 Dec 2021 -- Indonesia has invited officials in charge of maritime security from five other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to meet early next year to discuss how to respond to China's assertiveness in the South China Sea.
- Secretary Blinken's Telephone Call with Polish Foreign Minister Rau US Dept. of State 28 Dec 2021 -- The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
- Secretary Blinken's Call with Kenyan President Kenyatta US Dept. of State 28 Dec 2021 -- The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
- Department Press Briefing – December 28, 2021 US Dept. of State 28 Dec 2021
- 2021 Year in Review: UN support for countries in conflict UN News 28 Dec 2021 -- Long-running conflicts continued in Syria and Yemen this year, whilst fresh unrest caused serious instability in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Sudan. United Nations "Blue Helmet" peacekeepers suffered losses and injuries, particularly those serving in the peacekeeping missions in Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR). Nevertheless, the UN reaffirmed its commitment to protect those caught up in the fighting.
- Taliban Release Head of Private TV Network VOA 28 Dec 2021 -- The Taliban on Tuesday released a prominent Afghan TV station owner who was detained for two days, according to the independent media monitoring group Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC).
- Witnesses: Taliban Fire Warning Shots on Afghan Female Protesters VOA 28 Dec 2021 -- Witnesses say Taliban security forces in Afghanistan fired warning shots Tuesday to disperse a group of female activists in Kabul protesting restrictions placed on women in the country.
- Women Protesters Injured In Stampede After Taliban Militants Fire In The Air RFE/RL Gandhara 28 Dec 2021 -- A number of Afghan women have been injured in a stampede caused by Taliban guards firing in the air during a protest in Kabul against discriminatory measures including new travel restrictions on women.
- Resettlement Of Afghanistan's Ethnic Kazakhs To Kazakhstan Hampered By Taliban Takeover RFE/RL Gandhara 28 Dec 2021 -- Abdul Kabir Wakil Khan traveled from Kazakhstan to the Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif in July to help his family members - all ethnic Kazakhs - relocate to their ancestral homeland.
- Afghan Diplomat Says Resistance Against Taliban Organised in Panjshir, Kandahar, Baghlan Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- Afghanistan's Ambassador to Tajikistan Muhammad Zahir Agbar has told Sputnik that resistance forces against the Taliban* exist not just in the Panjshir province, but also in Kandahar and in the Andarab region of the Baghlan province.
- US exhausts cards against China despite rising military activities near Taiwan, S.China Sea Global Times 28 Dec 2021 -- According to monitoring from a Chinese think tank, the US military conducted highly intensive operations near China including aerial close-in reconnaissance, aircraft carrier drills and submarine activities over the past year, posing severe military threats and security risks to China in regions including the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits, military experts said on Tuesday.
- Escalation in Yemen 'worst in years' - UN top envoy UN News 28 Dec 2021 -- The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said on Tuesday that a recent military escalation in the country is "among the worst" in years and increasingly putting civilians in crosshairs.
- 'Threat to civilian lives rising': UN's Yemen envoy decries Saudi escalation Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- The United Nations special envoy for Yemen has strongly condemned Saudi Arabia's military escalation against various targets across the impoverished country, including the capital Sana'a.
- Yemen announces temporary resumption of UN flights into Sana'a days after Saudi attack Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- Yemen's civil aviation authority has announced a temporary resumption of aid flights by the United Nations to Sana'a International Airport, a week after Saudi aerial assaults put the facility out of operation.
- Hezbollah scoffs at allegations of 'its involvement in Yemen' Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- The Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah has brushed off Saudi allegations of its "involvement" in Yemen.
- Syria air defenses confront Israeli attack on Latakia Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- Syria's air defenses have confronted an Israeli attack on Latakia, the Arab country's biggest port city, which lies in its northwest.
- Rocket Attack Sparks Major Conflagration at Syrian Port of Latakiya VOA 28 Dec 2021 -- Syrian media is accusing Israel of a rocket attack that set off a major conflagration in the port area of Latakiya early Tuesday, damaging a large number of shipping containers. Arab media claims that Israel destroyed a number of containers transporting Iranian weapons.
- On the Attacks in Kayah State and Throughout Burma US Dept. of State 28 Dec 2021 -- "The United States condemns the attacks committed on December 24 by the Burmese military in Kayah State, which killed at least 35, including women and children and two staff members of the international aid organization Save the Children."
- Myanmar: Attack leaves 35 dead, including 4 children UN News 28 Dec 2021 -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) condemned on Tuesday the reported killing of at least 35 people, including four children and two humanitarian workers, in the Kayah state, in Myanmar.
- Nearly 100 women killed by security forces since Myanmar coup Radio Free Asia 28 Dec 2021 -- Nearly 100 women have been killed by security forces loyal to Myanmar's junta since the military orchestrated a power grab nearly 11 months ago, a group promoting gender equality in the country said Tuesday as former female prisoners said sexual abuse of inmates was routine.
- Save the Children confirms deaths of two aid workers in Myanmar mass killing Radio Free Asia 28 Dec 2021 -- Save the Children confirmed Tuesday that two of its staff were killed in a Christmas Eve massacre in eastern Myanmar blamed on junta troops who forced 35 people from their vehicles, killed them and burned their bodies in an incident that drew U.N. and U.S. condemnation.
- UNHCR pleads to Indonesia to take in Rohingya stranded at sea Radio Free Asia 28 Dec 2021 -- The United Nations on Tuesday urged Indonesia to allow 120 Rohingya stranded aboard a boat near Aceh province to come ashore, but local officials said they had limited resources to care for the refugees, and so were turning them away.
- U.S., Russia To Hold Ukraine Talks In Geneva On January 10 RFE/RL 28 Dec 2021 -- U.S. and Russian officials will hold security talks on January 10 amid mounting tensions over Ukraine.
- US, Russia to Discuss Ukraine During January Talks VOA 28 Dec 2021 -- The United States and Russia will hold talks in January about nuclear arms control and tensions along the Russia-Ukraine border.
- US 'looks forward to engaging with Russia' on Ukraine: Washington Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- Russian officials have agreed to sit with American officials next month among US accusations against Moscow of preparing to invade neighboring Ukraine, the US National Security Council (NSC) has said.
- US, Russia expected to hold talks on Jan 10 over Ukraine Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- American and Russian officials are expected hold talks on January 10 to discuss European security and simmering tensions over the Ukraine conflict, according to officials.
- Travel restrictions tighten in Tibet ahead of Beijing Winter Olympics Radio Free Asia 28 Dec 2021 -- Chinese authorities are ramping up security in Tibet ahead of next year's Winter Olympics in Beijing, deploying large numbers of police to regional capital Lhasa and imposing restrictions on Tibetans' movements in other areas, sources say.
- Mali's Military Government: Russia Sends Trainers, Not Mercenaries VOA 28 Dec 2021 -- Mali's military government has denied hiring Russian mercenaries from the controversial Wagner Group, which has been sanctioned by the European Union for rights abuses. France and 15 other Western nations last week condemned what they said was Russia's deployment of Wagner fighters to Mali. Mali's transitional government says it is only engaged with official Russian military trainers. Analysts weigh in on Russia's military involvement in Mali as French troops are drawing down.
- Russia Considers Mali Gov't. as Legitimate, Cooperation as Positive, Diplomat Says Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- Russia considers the current government in Mali to be legitimate and views cooperation with it as positive, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Tuesday.
- Dissolution of International Memorial US Dept. of State 28 Dec 2021 -- "The United States condemns today's decision by the Russian Supreme Court to forcibly close International Memorial, one of Russia's oldest and most respected scholarly and human rights organizations. For three decades, International Memorial's researchers have worked tirelessly to recover the names and stories of the millions of victims of Soviet repression, promoting historical justice."
- Russia Lurches Toward 'Total Repression' As Supreme Court Rules To Shut Memorial RFE/RL 28 Dec 2021 -- Russia's Supreme Court has ordered the closure of Memorial International, one of the country's oldest and most respected human rights organizations, capping a year of what critics called the state's systematic dismantling of the country's civil society.
- Historians Lament Dissolution of Russia's Memorial Historical Rights Group VOA 28 Dec 2021 -- Prominent historians and human rights activists were shocked by a Russian Supreme Court ruling Tuesday to close Memorial International, which chronicled historical abuses of the former Soviet Union and identified victims of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's purges.
- 'Huge Disaster': Russian Police Detain Three Former Navalny Coordinators RFE/RL 28 Dec 2021 -- Russian police have taken three former regional coordinators of Aleksei Navalny's campaign team in for questioning amid continued pressure against the imprisoned opposition leader's associates.
- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on December 28, 2021 PRC MofA 28 Dec 2021
- Jimmy Lai, six others face new charge of printing inflammatory publications; case will give media clear reference, more freedom Global Times 28 Dec 2021 -- Jailed Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, as well as six other people with the newspaper, faced a new charge of printing and disseminating inflammatory publications as they returned to local court for another pretrial hearing on Tuesday, which experts said would provide the public with a much clearer view of inflammatory publications and lead local media outlets to have much more freedom in their work.
- Spokesperson slams Western politicians, media for biased views on HK issues People's Daily 28 Dec 2021 -- A spokesperson with China's central government on Monday slammed some politicians and media comments from the United States and other Western countries for their biased and narrow views on Hong Kong-related issues.
- China shortens negative lists for foreign investment for 5th straight year People's Daily 28 Dec 2021 -- China on Monday unveiled two shortened negative lists for foreign investment, as part of efforts to further open up the economy and promote high-quality economic development.
- North Korea's Kim Jong-un Kicks Off Policy Meeting to Outline Priorities, Nuclear Strategy Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- In June, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that Pyongyang must be ready for "both dialogue and confrontation" with the United States. Washington, for its part, said in October that it is prepared to launch a dialogue with North Korea without preconditions.
- 4th Plenary Meeting of 8th WPK Central Committee Convened KCNA 28 Dec 2021 -- The 4th Plenary Meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) was convened on December 27.
- Iran's demands for lifting of sanctions accepted IRNA 28 Dec 2021 -- The eighth round of talks in Vienna, Austria, continues in an atmosphere that Iran's demands for verification of lifting sanctions and assurance for non-recurrence of illegal acts by the United States have been accepted by other sides, indicating progress in negotiations.
- Bagheri highlights sanctions removal as key to Vienna talks success IRNA 28 Dec 2021 -- Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said on Monday that reaching an agreement on effective removal of sanctions against Iran is the key to success of the eighth round of talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
- Vienna talks on right track: Iranian FM ISNA 28 Dec 2021 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Vienna talks are on the right track.
- Iran to insist on providing security, protecting national interests of the country: Baharvand ISNA 28 Dec 2021 -- Iranian ambassador to London, Mohsen Baharvand stressed that Iran won't be afraid of hostility of any country and will insist on providing security and protecting national interests of the country and will adhere to its principles.
- Iran reiterates need for lifting sanctions, providing sufficient guarantees at JCPOA Joint Commission ISNA 28 Dec 2021 -- The eighth round of talks on sanctions removal began Monday evening with a meeting of the Joint Commission chaired by senior negotiator of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Bagheri, and Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora.
- Iran: Vienna talks on right path; deal possible if there's seriousness, goodwill Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has expressed optimism about the ongoing talks between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries in the Austrian capital of Vienna, saying the negotiations are moving "in a good direction" and an agreement is possible if other parties show "goodwill" and "seriousness."
- European Powers Call For 'Urgency' As Iran Nuclear Talks Resume RFE/RL 28 Dec 2021 -- Diplomats from the three European countries directly involved in the negotiations to breathe new life in a faltering nuclear deal with Iran have stressed the "urgent" nature of talks.
- Consensus on 'effective' removal of sanctions key to success of Vienna talks, says top Iranian negotiator Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- Iran's top negotiator says reaching an agreement on an "effective" and "practical" removal of the illegal sanctions Washington has imposed on Tehran is the key to the success of the ongoing negotiations in Vienna to restore the 2015 agreement.
- US Says 'Too Soon to Tell' If Iran Returned to JCPOA Talks With More Constructive Approach Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- The US State Department believes it is premature to say whether Iran has returned to nuclear deal talks with a more constructive approach, spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.
- Biden Opposes NDAA Provision Requiring Him to Disclose Details on Iran's Military to Congress Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- US President Joe Biden signed the country's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 on Monday.
- Iran Has 'No Deterrent' to Its Nuclear Programme, Israeli Defence Official Warns Sputnik 28 Dec 2021 -- The Vienna talks on a possible restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) resumed on Monday after the Christmas holidays, marking the eighth round of the tense negotiations.
- Israeli Prime Minister Says He's Not Opposed To 'Good' Nuke Deal With Iran As Talks Resume RFE/RL 28 Dec 2021 -- Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said he is not opposed to a "good" nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, although he expressed skepticism that the talks that resumed this week can result in such an outcome.
- Iran's Raeisi set to visit Russia in early 2022 for talks on ways to enhance ties Press TV 28 Dec 2021 -- Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi is set to make an official visit to Moscow in early 2022 to hold talks with senior Russian officials on ways to promote strategic relations between the two sides.
- Iran's Hard-Line President To Visit Russia 'Early' Next Year RFE/RL 28 Dec 2021 -- Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will Russia after receiving an invitation from Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, an Iranian government spokesman said on December 28.
- Over 11,000 Migrants Entered Germany Via Belarus Route In 2021 RFE/RL 28 Dec 2021 -- More than 11,000 illegal migrants have entered Germany this year after transiting through Poland from Belarus, German police said on December 27.
- Georgian Parliament Plans Vote To Eliminate Human Rights Watchdog RFE/RL 28 Dec 2021 -- Georgia's ruling Georgian Dream party plans to move ahead this week with a proposal to dissolve an independent agency responsible for monitoring personal data protection and abuse of power despite concerns the move is politically motivated.
- Vietnam calls itself 'democratic country,' activists disagree Radio Free Asia 28 Dec 2021 -- Activists calling for political reform in Vietnam disagreed this week with official claims that the country is a functioning democracy under one-party rule, saying the government relies on rhetoric and deceptions to mask its true nature.
- Somali Opposition Calls on President to Leave Office VOA 28 Dec 2021 -- Somalia's opposition presidential candidates have called on President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, popularly known as Farmajo, to leave office after he attempted to force the prime minister from power.
- Lebanese President Michel Aoun Fails to Counter Hezbollah Using Veiled Criticism VOA 28 Dec 2021 -- Lebanese President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian, and Hezbollah have shaped Lebanon's politics for 16 years. He warned that an 11-week parliamentary boycott has kept the government from meeting and undermined state institutions amid the country's economic meltdown. But he fell short of directly criticizing his ally Hezbollah and the Shi'ite Amal party in his televised speech on Monday night.
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