27 March 2023   (CBC)
Public Services & Procurement Canada confirmed today that the U.S. State Department has been asked to approve the potential purchase of up to 16 Boeing P8-A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for the RCAF. “The final decision will be based on the capability offered, availability, pricing and benefits to Canadian industry,” PSPC said. In service with Australia, Britain and India as well as the U.S. Navy, it is a militarized version of the 737-800 civilian passenger jet.
27 March 2023   (CTV)
The Department of National Defence’s recent restructuring of military personnel’s housing allowance will have little benefit in the major Army garrison in Petawawa, Ontario, according to a local realtor. Cynthia Lloyd says that while her market is an “affordable location compared to other bases”, a shortage of inventory keeps prices up. “I don't think that making it more affordable on the monthly will change the market conditions here.”
27 March 2023   (NPR)
A decision by the U.S. Administration to nominate Alaskan geographer Mike Sfraga as an ambassador-at-large for the Arctic is seen as a direct response to Russia’s ramped-up northern military presence and Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski says that dealing with national security threats from China as well as Russia and China in the region will be a challenge.
26 March 2023   (AP)
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says “inacceptable” criticism of his country’s democratic and cultural issues is undermining cooperation within NATO and the EU. Members of the European Parliament say Hungary is “a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy” under President Victor Orban, who has not criticized Russia for invading Ukraine and continues to block Swedish and Finnish membership for Sweden and Finland.
26 March 2023   (NY Times)
Less than three months after being appointed Israel’s defence minister, Yoav Gallant was fired today by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for saying that he wanted no part of the PM’s push for tight political control over the judiciary. Gallant had urged a delay in the widely-criticized plan, saying that it was causing turmoil in the military and threatened Israel’s security.
25 March 2023   (The Hill)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called today for an “immediate cessation” of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Appealing directly to President Vladimir Putin during a telephone call, he also thanked the Russian leader for extending the Black Sea Grain Initiative which enables Ukrainian grain exports during the conflict.
25 March 2023   (CBC)
Canada plans to invest $7.3 billion to upgrade fighter bases and northern landing strips to accommodate its ordered Lockheed Martin F-35s, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office announced March 24. Also confirmed during President Joe Biden’s visi to Ottawa, the government also said that the first new Over the Horizon Radar base will be in northern Ontario, part of a 20-year upgrade of continental air defences.
25 March 2023   (Al Jazeera)
Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have signed a letter of intent to create a unified air defence in the face of increased Russian aggression. “Our combined fleet can be compared to a large European country,” the commander of the Danish air force, Major General Jan Dam, said March 24. The four have a combined 300 or so fighters in their current fleets with 100 Lockheed Martin F-35s on order.
25 March 2023   (AP/AFP)
Britain’s defence ministry says Russia’s offensive around Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine has “largely stalled” due to “extreme attrition” of Russian forces in recent months. It adds, however, that “Ukraine has also suffered heavy casualties during its defence.”
25 March 2023   (EuroNews)
Eight Norwegian leopard main battle tanks have arrived in Ukraine and now await European Union-supervised crew training to finish in Poland. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg lauded Norway’s economic and military support for Ukraine, reiterating March 24 that the alliance “must continue to provide Ukraine with what they need to prevail, for as long as it takes.”
25 March 2023   (BBC)
President Vladimir Putin says Russia plans to station but control tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus this summer, saying it would not violate nuclear non-proliferation agreements. “There is nothing unusual here,” he says. “The United States has […] long deployed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of their allied countries.”
25 March 2023   (CTV)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden used a day of talks in Ottawa March 24 to tackle a range of shared issues, including defence and security, third-country refugees, Haiti, clean energy and trade in what Trudeau said was a demonstration of how their countries’ interests are “interwoven.” Biden, on his first visit to Canada as President, agreed, saying, “I can't think of a challenge we haven’t met together.”