NEWS BRIEFS: INTERNATIONAL
1 October 2019 (Huffington Post)
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer isn’t worried that Canada might not get a seat on the UN Security Council because of a 25 per cent foreign aid cut he proposes. “It’s more important to me that I help Canadians get ahead than curry favour at the United Nations,” he said, explaining that the cuts would focus on funding for “middle- and upper-income countries” and “hostile regimes.”
30 September 2019 (Defense News)
Taiwan plans to extend its artillery capabilities with the acquisition of BAE Systems M109A6 Paladin self-propelled 155mm howitzers. Defence Minister Yen Teh-fa has not confirmed numbers but there have been reports that it could be as high as 100. The Taiwanese Army currently operates older variants of the self-propelled guns as well as towed M114 howitzers.
30 September 2019 (AV Web)
The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered some civil operators of the Boeing 737NGs to inspect them for cracks in the main wing-fuselage structural element. Boeing found cracks in one aircraft which, although it had logged 35,000 cycles, was well below the 90,000 the element is designed for. Cracks were subsequently confirmed in some others but evidently are not an issue for the U.S. military’s P-8 Poseidon multimission maritime variant.
30 September 2019 (United Press International)
Northrop Grumman Systems has received a contract through the U.S. Navy for nine E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning aircraft for Japan. The $1.4 billion deal follows an initial four-aircraft contract in 2014, the first of which was delivered last spring. Japan has been using an earlier version, the E-2C, since 1983.
30 September 2019 (Army Times)
The U.S. Army has met its recruitment target of 68,000 active duty soldiers in the current fiscal year, more than 34 percent of the pool destined for combat arms. The total compares with 70,000 in 2018 when the service aimed for 76,500. Many occupations at the beginning of the fourth quarter were short of personnel.
30 September 2019 (Yahoo.com)
U.S. Republican Party leaders say the Senate is bound by congressional rules to take action if the House of Representatives approves articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. “The rules of impeachment are clear on this,” they say. “If the House were to act, the Senate immediately goes into a trial.”
30 September 2019 (Consumer Affairs)
The U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, created in 1972 with a mandate to help federal politicians make informed decisions about complex issues, was shut down in 1995 by the Republican-controlled Congress. Elizabeth Warren, widely touted as a potential Democratic Party challenger in next year’s presidential election, wants to resurrect it. She says Congress now relies heavily on lobbyists whom she says “use their resources and expertise to overpower the needs and wishes of ordinary people.”
30 September 2019 (Military.com)
U.S. congressional committees overseeing annual military budgets are being urged by a bipartisan group of legislators to support low-income military families. The group is proposing a monthly “basic needs” supplement calculated on the service member’s basic pay plus the income of their other household members. If the total is below 130 per cent of the U.S. federal poverty line, currently $32,900, the income would be topped up.
30 September 2019 (Defense News)
The Department of Defense has finally inaugurated its Defense Security Cooperation University in the hope of improving how it supports allies and other partners against threats. The project was proposed two years ago.
30 September 2019 (Washington Post)
The al-Udeid air base in Qatar has been used by the U.S. for 13 years as a command-and-control centre for air assets in a region stretching from northeast Africa through the Middle East to south Asia. However, even as 300 U.S. and allied aircraft were operational in and around Afghanistan and Syria on the weekend, they were controlled from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, a temporary but significant tactical shift.