Rapid Fire 2011-07-06: Rare Earth Alternatives
- Speaking at his monthly press briefing, NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed the idea of joint NATO-Russian centers for cooperation on missile defense. The comments follow his recent meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi.
- Medvedev has told Defense Secretary Anatoly Serdyukov to report on the implementation of state defense orders for 2011 within the next three days. The move comes after reports that the Defense Ministry has delayed the signing of defense contracts, particularly for strategic nuclear armaments.
- Prime Minister David Cameron announces that the UK will be able to reduce its forces in Afghanistan from 9,500 to 9,000 personnel by the end of 2012. The decision was made on the advice of the National Security Council and reflects recent comments made by Barack Obama that the Afghan mission was moving from ‘combat to support’. The UK’s decision comes as Italy announces that the country’s financial crisis is forcing it to scale back its overseas operations.
- MBDA France and DCI-Cofras sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide training for MBDA’s anti-tank, artillery and air-defense products.
- As Canada’s Great Western Minerals Group nears completion of a rare earth mineral mine in South Africa, an article considers other countries as alternative sources to China’s dominance of the global market.
- Indonesia’s President calls for better relations with Malaysia to ward off conflict and resolve maritime border disputes.
- Speculation mounts that China’s new unmanned aerial vehicle may be used to provide targeting information for its anti-ship ballistic missiles.
- The internet also continues to provide plenty of intrigue regarding China’s J-20 stealth fighter. Pictures have now emerged showing the J-20’s weapons bay doors open.
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