Russia Looks at China, Life Extensions to Soup Up Armament
- Russia looks to China [Izvestia / RIA] to get military components it won’t be able to buy from the West.
- Russia will be keeping [ITAR-TASS] its MiG-31 Foxhound interceptors in service for another 15 years. Their radar size and missile capacity makes them very useful against bombers and cruise missiles, and can give them a guiding role as part of larger aerial formations.
- While the USAF has been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to retire its A-10C close support jets, Russia is considering [RIA Novosti] restarting production of its Su-25/-39.
- Ukraine’s military is pressing on to try and wrestle control of Donetsk from pro-Russian rebels: NYT | The Guardian.
- Spain’s Civil Guard seized 127 kilos of cocaine last week from the Juan Sebastián Elcano naval training ship: Maritime Executive | El Pais [map, in Spanish].
State of the World
- Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the outgoing director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, gave a good exit interview to Breaking Defense:
“[W]e’re in a period of prolonged societal conflict that is pretty unprecedented. In the Middle East, we’re starting to see issues arise over boundaries that were drawn back in the post-colonial era following World War I. In some regions, we’re seeing the failure of the nation-state, and to some degree the disintegration of the [Westphalian] system of nation-states […]
We saw all this connective tissue developing between these [proliferating] terrorist groups. So when asked if the terrorists were on the run, we couldn’t respond with any answer but ‘no.'”
- AP: Kurdish pleas for weapons may finally be heard.
- USA Today: U.S. airstrikes bring early gains in Iraq.
- The ceasefire in Gaza seems to be holding [LA Times] as Israeli officials are negotiating with Hamas via Egyptians.
- Today’s video from Vice News looks at how the Islamic State enforces Sharia in Raqqa, a Syrian city where they gained a foothold [Reuters]: