Hagel, Enders Point Out Weak Euro Spending As Eastern Ukraine Unravels
- US Secretary of State Chuck Hagel is urging the USA’s NATO partners to renew financial commitments to defense, echoing former SecDef Robert Gates as he was departing the office 3 years ago.
- At least 42 people, most of them pro-Russian, died in a fire during clashes with pro-Kiev demonstrators last Friday in Odessa, in southern-eastern Ukraine. Since then the mob rules in the region.
- Meanwhile the Russian government is rushing draft laws to the State Duma to integrate Crimea under Russian law, while the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a whole white book [PDF] denouncing violations of human rights in Ukraine, featuring the word “Nazi” no less than 13 times. You have to grant to the Kremlin that once they’ve written their script, they stick to it.
UK Space; Vision Systems
- The British government released a paper [PDF] describing its national space security policy, which starts with the wish for better understanding of risks, followed by seeking increased resilience in case these risks come to materialize.
- The UK MoD is organizing an industry day on June 5 in Yeovil to discuss the Future Integrated Vision Enablers Research (FIVER) meant to improve aircraft capability in low light or degraded visibility environments.
VIP Plane for Israel
- Jerusalem Post: Israel to get its own version of Air Force One. “The Defense Ministry is to present to the security cabinet within 60 days a concrete proposal for the purchase of the plane, which will be under the authority of the air force.”
Code on Get Out of Our Way You Other Navies
- Chinese officials seem to hold as significant progress the agreement over a “Code on Unplanned Encounters at Sea” at the recent Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS). Is it a sign the Chinese Navy wants to leave its reckless behavior behind? Not so fast, as they seem to have a selective reading of what the code means:
“On the one hand, any individual country shouldn’t misinterpret these rules or attempt to use this to limit the righteous actions of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAN) to defend China’s national sovereignty of territorial waters and national maritime interests. The PLAN has the unswerving determination to safeguard China’s national sovereignty of territorial waters, maritime interests and maritime security.
On the other hand, any individual country should follow the Code. From now on, on any unplanned encounter with the PLAN in the open sea, the individual country should take full consideration of the safety of the PLAN ships and avoid being overly close to PLAN ships or passing through or in front of PLAN fleet so that misjudgment or accidental discharge can be prevented from happening.”
Wrapping Up Afghanistan, One Base at a Time
- US Marines left Sangin in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.