27 January 2023   (AP)
A former U.S. Army reservist has been sentenced by a Chicago court to eight years in prison for spying for China by collecting information on aerospace scientists and engineers. Ji Chaoqun, 31, enlisted through a program to recruit foreigners who have skills considered vital to the national interest; he was convicted of falsifying answers on a government background form.
27 January 2023   (AP/EuroNews)
Nuclear nonproliferation experts have suggested for months Iran had enough highly-enriched uranium to build at least one weapon and now the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says the stockpile is larger than thought. He said January 24 that while “we need to be extremely careful” in describing the program Iran insists is for peaceful purposes, “they have amassed enough nuclear material for several nuclear weapons, not one at this point.”
27 January 2023   (CTV)
When Russia invaded Ukraine 11 months ago, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country needed fighters, including foreigners. Canadians were among the earliest to heed the call, alone or in groups, and the Ukrainian Foreign Legion said a short while later that they were “one of the most numerous nationalities” in its ranks. Several have died in combat but the federal government says it is not monitoring anyone going to Ukraine.
26 January 2023   (Defense News)
The rush by European allies to shore up Ukrainian defences, thereby depleting their own materiel, contributed significantly to a 49 per cent jump in U.S. military sales to foreign governments last year. The State Department says the total value was US$51.9 billion, excluding direct commercial sales which rose by a similar percentage to $153.7 billion.
25 January 2023   (Moscow Times)
Today’s announcements that Germany, Poland and the U.S. as well as other NATO members would be sending up to 88 main battle tanks to Ukraine yielded a predictable initial response from Russia. “This extremely dangerous decision takes the conflict to a new level of confrontation,” said its envoy in Germany, Sergei Nechayev, warning that it would lead to “the death of not only Russian soldiers, but also the civilian population.” He also said Ukraine’s allies are “not interested in a diplomatic solution.”
25 January 2023   (Defense News)
Nearly six weeks after halting deliveries of new F-35 fighters, Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet says the company is awaiting results of an investigation of a December 15 mishap before resuming acceptance flights and deliveries. While the pause was a factor in an F-35 sales decline at loss of some US$310 million, the company’s aeronautics division had nearly US$27 billion in net sales in 2022, up $239 million from 2021.
25 January 2023   (Reuters)
After months of internal debate and under pressure from many allies which use its Leopard 2 main battle tanks, the German government agreed today to send an initial 14, paving the way for other countries, including Canada, to do likewise. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Chancellor Olaf Scholz for his “important and timely decisions” on the tanks and other weapons, saying they are a “green light for partners” to follow suit.
25 January 2023   (Politico)
President Joe Biden announced today that the U.S. will send a battalion of 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine. However, they are not expected to arrive for months as the Pentago addresses challenges in providing the equipment, fuel and training to operate the 70-ton vehicles which, unlike other diesel-powered MTBs, are powered by gas turbines.
25 January 2023   (Breaking Defense)
A senior Swedish official said today that the government, which has 120 Leopard 2 main battle tanks, has not decided whether to give any to Ukraine. “We are, politically, open to support with all types of capabilities but tanks have not yet been on the plate,” the official said. “We have made a substantial contribution . . . and of course that gives challenges but also opportunities” for Swedish defence modernization. “We . . . cannot give away stuff without refilling our own equipment reserves”
25 January 2023   (CTV)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that he has invited premiers to Ottawa for a February 7 “working meeting” he hopes will address country-wide health care funding problems. The federal government also is looking for a national accord on data and health information as well as long-term deals which would include specific metrics relevant to individual provincial and territorial needs.
24 January 2023   (National Post)
The legal and safety implications of a Federal Court order to the government to repatriate four alleged Canadian members of ISIS are quickly becoming an issue for debate at home. The Ottawa lawyer who represented the men and other Syrian-held captives says the government can prosecute them if they’re held responsible for terrorist activitities but a former CSIS officer says an effective prosecution needs evidence and witnesses in Syria. Moreover, says Phil Gurski, “the supporters of these men and women have portrayed them as victims that need to be rescued.”
24 January 2023   (Breaking Defense)
New tank training programs in Poland could get the Ukrainian army ready to operate Leopard 2 main battle tanks in as few as six weeks due to their experience thousands of Ukrainians have built up in combat with their own and captured Russian armour. That could position Ukraine for a spring counteroffensive against Russian invaders a year into their war.