US (Almost) Gives Up Anti-personnel Landmines
- The White House announced the US will not use antipersonnel mines outside of those deployed to protect South Korea, as well as destroy their stockpiles not necessary to defend the peninsula. This aligns the country with most of the requirements of the Ottawa Convention without ratifying it. The WSJ had first reported that such a change was under consideration back in June.
- Boeing and Liquid Robotics signed a multi-year collaboration agreement. Liquid Robotics has been developing Wave Glider autonomous vehicles for surveillance use at and below ocean surface. The US Navy has shown some interest in that type of platform.
- The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Japan intends to develop homegrown early-warning aircraft for production by the middle of next decade. They’re currently using E-767 AWACS as well as E-2Cs, which Northrop Grumman hoped would have naturally led to an upsell to the E-2D Hawkeye.
- For the first time a Chinese naval taskforce is visiting Iran this week, where they’re conducting joint maritime exercises. Chinese military | FARS News | NYT | Reuters.
- China and India are having another stand-off between troops in the Ladakh mountains, despite a recent meeting between Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi. This appears to follow last year’s pattern of Chinese intrusions followed by impotent Indian outrage and Chinese placid denial. The Indians object to Chinese road construction in the area, in violation of an agreement (for lack of a settled border) between the two countries. This one episode has now lasted 12 days, leading Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Suhag to postpone a visit to Bhutan. Indian media is hyping up Xi’s recent urging to the PLA to “sharpen their ability to win a regional war,” which China retorts is just a “wild guess.” NDTV | Business Standard | IDSA | Times of India.
- We interrupt this programming with a friendly reminder [Xinhua] from Comrade in Chief Xi [The Economist]:
“Headquarters of PLA forces must have absolute loyalty and firm faith in the Communist Party of China, guarantee a smooth chain of command and make sure all decisions from the central leadership are fully implemented.”
- India’s Enforcement Directorate arrested Gautam Khaitan, the board member of a company named by investigators in the ongoing AgustaWestland VVIP saga. Times of India | NDTV.
- Fighting continues [Kyiv Post] at the Donetsk airport despite the ceasefire in Ukraine.
- Russian Vice Admiral Alexander Vitko said the Black Sea Fleet would grow to 206 ships and vessels by 2020, a number no doubt vastly inflated by counting small support vessels. A naval base near Novorossiysk (in Russia proper) is under construction and will have 7 submarines stationed there -again a big number which may have propaganda value rather than prove to be strictly true. But the Russians want a backup outside of Crimea, and – to channel Donald Rumsfeld – the point is not that the West would know these submarines are there, but rather that is it not known that they aren’t. Reuters | Novonite.
- 12 A-10s from the 122nd Fighter Wing will be deployed to the Mideast next month, reports the Journal Gazette from Fort Wayne, IN. Tony Carr, a former USAF officer, is bracing himself for a replay of the often disingenuous debate on close air support and the type of aircraft meant to fulfill that mission. Aaron Mehta at Defense News thinks people for or against keeping A-10s in the USAF fleet have already made up their mind.
- 7 military advisers sent by Germany to train Kurdish peshmergas have been stuck [The Local] in Bulgaria for days for lack of permission from Iraqi authorities to enter the country.
- Today’s video from the BBC tries to track down Qassem Suleimani [New Yorker], a well-connected Iranian general who’s been seen visiting Peshmerga positions as Iran tries to maximize its influence in Iraq and Syria. There are conflicting reports [Al-Monitor] about the state of his influence [The Guardian] and whether he still heads the Quds force: