No safe haven in Gaza

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Relief & Works Agency, said today that there is no haven in besieged Gaza for civilians, including in UN shelters and Israeli-designated “safe zones.” More than 16,000 Gazans have reportedly been killed by Israel’s response to Hamas terrorists’ October attack. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. foreign support at risk?

Several Republican Senators walked out of a December 6 classified White House briefing on a $113-billion U.S. defence spending package that includes support for Ukraine and Israel. They said the administration had not responded to their questions about Ukraine beyond what was public knowledge. [node:read-more:link]

USCG flooded with abuse

Rocked by years of allegations that its leadership covered up serious misconduct issues, the U.S. Coast Guard acknowledged today that it had “failed to keep our people safe” and promised reforms. “These failures and lack of accountability are entirely unacceptable,” it said in a report based on complaints by personnel as well as staff interviews. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. promotions blockade easing

A U.S. Senator is ending his blockade of more than 400 military promotions which he began nearly 10 months ago because he disagreed with Defense Depart policy that permitted access to abortions. However, first-term Alabama Republican Tommy Tuberville said December 4 that he would continue to block 11 of the most senior promotions approved by the White House. [node:read-more:link]

France mending fences with Australia

Two years after Australia reneged on a deal to purchase French submarines in favour of U.S. boats, sparking a diplomatic tiff, France and Australia have reset their relationship with reciprocal access to Pacific bases and increased joint activities. “We are determined to […] beef up our cooperation with the partners in the region,” French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said after she and her Australian counterpart, Penny Wong, signed an agreement December 4. [node:read-more:link]

NATO expands cybersecurity links

NATO has wrapped up cybersecurity exercises in Estonia, welcoming Japan, South Korea and Ukraine to the proceedings as the alliance seeks like-minded governments to harden their collective virtual defences. Cyber Coalition 2023 focused on sharing threat intelligence and responding to attack scenarios on virtual national critical infrastructure as well as military targets and structures of military nature. [node:read-more:link]

Putin orders troop increase

The Russian military has been ordered by President Vladimir Putin increase its troop strength by 170,000, to 1.3 million, as his “special military operation” against Ukraine entered its 22nd month. The staged increase is being implemented through recruitment rather than conscription. [node:read-more:link]

The semantic impact of “kriegstüchtig”

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius’ recent declaration that his country should prepare for the possibility of actual warfare evidently discomfited many citizens. His use of “kriegstüchtig,” an adjective which falls somewhere between becoming “war-capable” and “war-proficient” in his ministry’s policy, nomenclature, has been rejected as warmongering or evidence of the lack of a more pronounced defensive focus. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. flagging in arms race

The Defense Department is warning that U.S. industry is struggling to stay ahead of competitors such as China in the high technology arms race. “It does not possess the capacity, capability, responsiveness, or resilience required to satisfy the full range of military production needs at speed and scale,” the DoD says in the document dated November 27. “Just as significantly, the traditional defense contractors […] would be challenged to respond to modern conflict at the velocity, scale, and flexibility necessary to meet the dynamic requirements of a major modern conflict.” [node:read-more:link]

DND accesses U.S. satellite

The Department of National Defense became the first NATO ally to gain access to the U.S. Space Force’s geosynchronous satellite-based mobile network developed for narrowband voice, video and data. The recently disclosed test in October used tactical radios from two locations in Ottawa to make point-to-point calls, transfer files, and access group chat services on the network. [node:read-more:link]

Concerns about Ukraine ammo

NATO and EU member Estonia’s undersecretary for defence policy worries that some European states’ internal politics threaten commitments to supply Ukraine with more howitzer ammunition. “We are constantly pushing different nations to not give up because the timeline of deliveries is next March,” Tuuli Duneton says. “I wouldn’t say I am entirely pessimistic […] but lot remains to be done.” [node:read-more:link]

Belgium joining FCAS project

Belgian Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder has disclosed that her country plans to join France, Germany and Spain next July in developing a six-generation fighter through their Future Combat Air System project. Until then, Belgium will have observer status as of January. [node:read-more:link]

NATO reviewing AI strategy

Faced with cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and interference with government agencies, NATO plans to upgrade its 2021 artificial intelligence strategy to include generative AI to clarify what is expected from members’ industries, institutions and operational end-users. David van Wheel, the alliance’s assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges, says the review will begin in 2024. [node:read-more:link]

RCAF chooses Poseidon

The federal government confirmed today that it plans to procure at least 14 Boeing P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft to replace its Lockheed CP140s through a government-to-government agreement with the U.S. The CP-140s are a 1950s design which entered service with the RCAF in 1982 and is now scheduled for retirement in 2030. The RCAF has consistently defended the Boeing platform as the only currently available option with delivery expected to start in 2026. [node:read-more:link]

Dual-use technology a threat

A U.S. commission created in October 2000 to scrutinize economic and security relations with China is urging a more cohesive approach to curbing the outflow of dual-use technology that can be readily transferred by commercial importers to the military. [node:read-more:link]


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