Is Germany Ready to Back Mid-East Deals with Credit Guarantees?
- Der Spiegel reports that the German federal government is backing with “Hermes” export credit guarantees a $1.9B deal with Saudi Arabia for 100 patrol boats. It’s not clear to what extent the left-wing SPD is on board with sales that it criticized while in the opposition, now that it is part of the governing coalition.
- Satellites, electronics and chemicals are the next product categories whose export rules are to be reformed by the US Department of State.
Cheating at Exams: Not Just the Air Force
- The US Navy is investigating 30 watch-standers at its Charleston Nuclear Power Training Unit, SC, for alleged cheating at their qualification exam. This just weeks after a similar scandal emerged at Malmstrom Air Force Base, MT.
- Such issues will keep DoD’s leadership busy. According to various sources, former Navy undersecretary and current CNAS CEO Robert Work is President Obama’s choice as the Pentagon’s deputy, since Christine Fox replaced Ashton Carter only in an acting capacity.
- Russia is to give S-300 air defense systems to Kazakhstan, writes RIA Novosti. But the SIPRI nonprofits notes that Russian sales have been rising markedly among top defense firms thanks to domestic orders.
- Azerbaijan intends to modernize its MiG-25s, according to the Azeri-Press Agency (APA).
Euro International Stance: Show Me the Money, Troops
- German politicians have been met with applause as they committed to playing a more active role in international security matters during last week’s Munich Security Conference, but it’s a fair question to ask about the resources to back the intent.
- NATO’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen sees power slipping away (video):
“[Rasmussen] can see the reasons for austerity, for cutbacks in government spending in order to reduce deficits, but he can also see its likely results: ‘It means we will have less influence on the international scene. The vacuum will be filled by other powers and they do not necessarily share our interests and our values.'”
- Joel Kotkin offers interesting counterpoints to the common view that the US will continue to lose ground to rising countries like China and India. In the end economic and demographic constraints shape the level of defense a nation can afford to sustain.
- Be that as it may, Cmdr Vescovo, US Navy Reserve (Ret.) makes the case for effective, credible deterrence of China supported by strong subsurface warfare capability, starting with offensive mining.
- Red Flag 2014 at Nellis AFB, NV, involves squadrons from the US, UK, and Australia. RAAF Group Captain Robert Chipman, the exercise director for Australian forces, explains in the video below that is is all about realistic large force employment training: