donderdag 10 december 2020

Bespreking War in the age of Trump door Patrick Cockburn

War in the age of Trump; the defeat of ISIS, the fall of Kurds, the Conflict with Iran door Patrick Cockburn bestrijkt de periode 2016-2019 om de oorlogen in Irak en Syrië te beschrijven. Artikelen, dagboeken en aantekeningen geschreven als de gebeurtenissen zich ontvouwden en anderzijds terugblikkende gedachten en analyses vormen de inhoud ervan. Deze benadering is bedoeld om de levendigheid van ooggetuigenverslagen te bewaren, maar ook een bredere bedding te geven aan de ontwikkelingen in dit deel van het Midden Oosten. In de inleiding noemt de schrijver de visies van de mensen die hij spreekt in de landen met denken scherper of in ieder geval anders dan het zijne. Er komen dan ook veel mensen aan het woord.

Het op en neer huppelen in de tijd bevreemd wel eens. Je wordt gedwongen tot de oefening vijf jaar terug in de tijd te stappen en dan een paar pagina's later weer naar veel recenter visies. Hoofdstukken zijn wel voorzien van een periode die ze beschrijven. Die hink-stap-sprong constructie blijft echter moeilijk. Ook voor de samenstellers van het boek. Al in het voorwoord staan twee jaartallen die niet kunnen kloppen, de Turkse invasie van Syrië wordt in 2020 geplaatst en het voorwoord zelf in januari 2019. Wat mij betreft waren de tijden in de tekst aangepast aan het moment van uitgave. 'In 2016 was' en niet 'in 2016 komt'. Nu maakt het toch de indruk van een journalist die zijn teksten zo waardevol vindt dat hij er een boek van maakt, maar de tijd of redacteur ontbeert om dat zorgvuldig te doen. Jammer, want het is een waardevol boek.

Unforced error

De dronemoord op de Iraanse generaal Soleimani in januari 2020 is op de valreep in het boek verwerkt. Er is zelfs een heel hoofdstuk aan gewijd en her-en-der in tekst zijn mogelijke gevolgen van deze aanslag toegevoegd. De journalist legt uit welke fout de Verenigde Staten maakte door de Iraanse generaal neer te schieten. Hij vertrekt daarbij uit de anti-Iraanse positie van de Verenigde Staten zelf. De generaal had zich in de maanden voor zijn dood zo impopulair gemaakt als masterbrein van het gewelddadig neerslaan van Iraakse protesten tegen voedselprijzen, nepotisme en corruptie in de herfst van 2019 dat daarmee ook de Iraanse aanwezigheid in Irak onder steeds grotere kritiek kwam te staan. Zijn repressieve beleid had 264 tot 301 doden in Bagdad als gevolg (eerste cijfer Amnesty International, tweede Hoge Commissie voor de Mensenrechten van Irak). De stad leek eindelijk weer wat leven te krijgen na decennia van oorlog en terreur. De enige logische verklaring voor het repressieve optreden was dat het een middel was de massaprotesten te veranderen in een gewapende confrontatie om zo een volksbeweging te militariseren, te verzwakken en vanwege de veiligheid neer te kunnen slaan. Het had het averechtse gevolg, een kleine beweging groeide uit tot een grote.

Cockburn haalt de Chinese denker Sun Tsu aan die stelde dat je een vijand zijn gang moet laten gaan als hij in de fout gaat. De moord op hem maakte van de generaal een martelaar. De moord was vervolgens een reden voor gezworen tegenstanders in Irak om samen op te trekken en niet Iran maar de Verenigde Staten werd weer de boosdoener. Cockburn noemt de aanslag een unforced error die alleen maar de bal op het racket van de shi'iten in de regio legde. De aanslag droeg het bij aan het groeiende wantrouwen ten opzichte van de Verenigde Staten en droeg ook het gevaar Irak te destabiliseren. De journalist schrijft dat de aanpak doet denken aan de arrogante aanpak na de invasie van 2003 toen de Verenigde Staten “ook niet wisten wat ze deden en wie ze tegen zich in het harnas jaagden.”

Teheran liet dit door Trump en de zijnen geboden geschenk echter uit de handen vallen door allereerst een passagiersvliegtuig uit de lucht te schieten (wat aangezien werd voor een Amerikaanse raket) en vervolgens een aanval op VS doelen uit te voeren waarbij bewust geen slachtoffers werden gemaakt, wat binnenlands tot de verzuchting leidde dat het Iraanse leiderschap zo voorzichtig met zijn eigen binnenlandse oppositie om zou mogen gaan.

Bombardementen

Het boek gaat om de politiek militaire ontwikkelingen van de afgelopen vijf jaar. Hierover schrijven is niet gemakkelijk. Misschien wel de moeilijkste hindernis is het innemen van een standpunt. Waar je ook gaat staan je trapt altijd wel iemand op de tenen. Cockburn schrijft.
“Ondanks het prat gaan op zorgen voor burger slachtoffers – en de veroordeling van de Russische en Syrische overheid die burgers tot doelwit maakten – maakte de Amerikaanse luchtmacht van Raqqa en de oude stad van Mosoel in puinhopen, zoals de Russische en Syrische overheid heeft gedaan in Oost Aleppo en Homs, en daarnaast in Darayya, Barzeh en oost Ghouta in Damascus.” Als ik deze zinnen lees hoor ik al een canon aanzwellen, met als centraal thema je kan het een niet met het ander vergelijken. Dergelijke vergelijkingen gaan inderdaad al snel mank, maar hier worden kool en de geit niet gespaard. Dat is misschien wel de enige positie die je kan innemen.

De strijd om Mosoel zou een paar maanden gaan duren volgens Amerikaanse generaals. Het zouden er negen worden, van oktober 2016 tot juli 2017. Tijdens beschietingen op de stad zaten de burgers knel tussen blijven met de kans op de dood door een explosief of vluchten met de kans op een kogel. Cockburn herhaalt in het boek een paar maal dat al zijn kennissen en informanten in de stad de belegering niet overleefden. Het was een belegering waar Iraakse en Koerdische troepen vochten, maar daarbij niet zonder de Westerse luchtsteun en elite troepen konden. De strijd tegen ISIS moest gevoerd worden, maar het is de vraag of een strijd met duizenden onschuldige burgers – onvermijdelijk tijdens een oorlog zeggen de voorstanders van dat ingrijpen – wel op die manier gevoerd had moeten worden. Bombardementen op steden blijken keer op keer een oorlogsmethode waarbij vaak onschuldigen getroffen worden. Los van dit optreden, waarom geven zij die zoveel geld besteden aan het gooien van bommen niet wat noodzakelijk is voor hulp achteraf, citeert Cockburn een Amnesty rapport.

Lijstjes

Op 31 maart 2017 somt Cockburn een heel lijstje op van lucht- en landbombardementen uit zijn eigen journalistieke loopbaan waar het misging: Israël in Libanon (1982, 1996, 2006); de VS op Irak (2001, 2003), Syrië (vanaf 2011 en vanaf 2015 met Rusland). Om bij aanwezigheid van een sluipschutter op een dak een heel vaak bewoond gebouw met de grond gelijk te maken is zelfs vanuit militair oogpunt niet effectief (het zal zich later mogelijk tegen je keren), maar vanuit menselijk oogpunt zeker verwerpelijk. Mensen in Mosoel klaagden over deze tactiek en ze hadden enig recht van spreken, 40.000 burgers zouden het leven verliezen, niet alleen door ISIS-moorden, maar ook door bombardementen en beschietingen, aldus de goed geïnformeerde inlichtingendienst van de regionale Koerdische overheid. (Een overheid die in het boek zowel lof voor de inzet tegen ISIS toegezwaaid krijgt, als kritiek voor een overdreven superioriteitsgevoel en tactische en strategische misrekeningen.)

Cockburn houdt van lijstjes met voorbeelden uit de geschiedenis om context te geven aan contemporain militair optreden. De Syrische strijd om wijk voor wijk, huis voor huis de bevolking te verjagen, de vijand te bestrijden, en zo gebieden in te nemen is een geijkte guerrilla tactiek die de Britten in Maleisië, de Fransen in Algerije, de VS in Vietnam, Turkije in Turks-Koerdistan gebruikten. Met betrekking tot dit laatste noemt hij het bekende voorbeeld dat sinds 1984 3.000 dorpen door de Turken zijn vernietigd, maar voegt daar ook aan toe dat in de laatste 18 maanden (voor oktober 2016) grote delen van Koerdische steden zoals Diyarbakir en Cizre zijn platgegooid. Militaire acties waarop nauwelijks internationale reactie kwam. De Turkse acties in Syrië en de steun aan en het inzetten van gewelddadige islamistische strijdgroepen komen in het boek uitgebreid aan de orde. Turkije gebruikt graag benamingen voor offensief militair optreden met het woord Vrede er in, zoals Operation Peace Spring.

Cockburn is ook duidelijk als het gaat om het Syrische optreden waarbij burgers worden bestookt door geschut (leidt tot meer ellende dan luchtbombardementen, die niettemin meer beschreven worden door de pers) en de angst van de bevolking voor het regime. Toen Syrische jonge mannen hun angst even vergaten en juichend de straat op renden bij een doelpunt van Lionel Messi tegen Real Madrid (23/04/17) werden ze als appels van de straat geplukt en in het leger gedwongen. Mensen die niet willen geloven dat het Syrische regime zo dom zou zijn om chemische wapens tegen de bevolking in te zetten, omdat dit de positie juist zou verzwakken, krijgen van hem onder uit de zak: deze mensen onderschatten de domheid die je in alle legers kan vinden.

Trump

De president van de Verenigde Staten wordt in het boek niet afgeschilderd als de oorlogszuchtige kwade genius van de buitenlandse politiek. De auteur zegt, dat hoewel Trump regelmatig op de drempel van een oorlog staat, hij de eerste nog moet beginnen. De aanslag op generaal Soleimani had zo'n begin kunnen zijn. Het is de president die zijn troepen juist terug wil trekken. Op de ochtend dat ik deze bespreking schrijf lees ik hoe het grootste deel van de troepen uit Somalië wordt gehaald, een land dat buiten het bestek van het boek valt, maar waar de Verenigde Staten in 1991 met veel bombarie op de kust landden om hun rol na de Koude Oorlog voor de op het strand verzamelde pers te showen en nu al weer zo'n dertig jaar aanwezig zijn. Het is ook al zo'n interventie die meer kwaad dan goed deed. Of het meer is dan een bommetje in de schoenen van Biden leggen, die het besluit mogelijk terug zal draaien, is af te wachten.

Onder Trump neemt zowel in Irak en Syrië als in Afghanistan de bommen regen wel sterk toe. In Irak en Syrië is dit vooral toe te schrijven aan de strijd tegen ISIS. Cockburn noemt herhaaldelijk Hilary Clinton als veel meer op buitenlandse oorlogen gerichte kandidate die het tegen Trump af moest leggen, we zullen het dus nooit met zekerheid weten. Wel sprak ze oorlogszuchtiger taal dan de man met de gele lok. De auteur noemt onder andere haar opscheppen over betrokkenheid bij het vermoorden van Osama bin-Laden en Gaddafi.

Toch komt de brallende president er ook niet best af. Zijn houding ten opzichte van marteling – soms nodig – wordt benoemd en op de korrel genomen, evenals de toenemende steun aan Saoedi Arabië. Dit terwijl Riyad de oorlog tegen Jemen aanvoert. Overigens was die steun onder Obama ook niet gering. Voor Trump is het een deel van een
Make America Great Again politiek door wapenverkopen, maar ook van een anti-Iran politiek die Washington en Riyad beiden willen voeren. Met betrekking tot Iran stelt Cockburn dat de economische sancties een zwaarder middel om Teheran te slaan zijn dan dat het Pentagon inzet. Cockburn vind Trump een monster, maar dat betekent niet een buitengewoon oorlogszuchtig monster. “Trump is het ergste wat de VS is overkomen sinds de Amerikaanse Burgeroorlog, maar misrekeningen rond zijn sterktes en zwaktes is niet de manier om met hem om te gaan.”

Als Iran een aanval doet op een Saoedisch olieveld dan is de reactie minder groot dan verwacht kon worden. De Verenigde Staten hebben nog steeds een wereldwijde militaire macht, maar zowel president Obama als Trump zijn zich bewust geweest van de beperkingen ervan, aldus The Independent journalist. Een groot contrast in uitingen, maar een minder grote kloof als het om inhoud van de buitenlandse politiek gaat. Beide presidenten wilden niet in militaire avonturen gezogen worden en streefden naar het afbouwen van grondtroepen in interventies. Obama breidde vooral de drone aanvallen en oorlogsvoering met elite troepen uit, onder Trump gingen dit door. Er is overigens weinig bewijs dat door een dergelijke strategie oorlogen gewonnen worden. Een thema dat ook terugkomt in Cockburn's laatste artikel over de aanslag op de Iraanse nucleaire wetenschapper Fakhirezadeh van begin deze maand. Al-Bagdhadi stapelde fout op fout en verloor elke steun. De lokale afdelingen van Al-Qaida hadden meer 'succes' nadat bin-Laden was gedood.

Het valt Cockburn op dat Trump wordt weggezet als een gek en zijn institutionele tegenstanders als helder kijkende bedienden van de publieke zaak. Dit terwijl ze vaak niet anders doen dan het eigen winkeltje beschermen en niet beter weten wat de VS in de wereld doen dan Trump. Geen aandacht heeft Cockburn voor de ongebreidelde wapenexporten onder de laatste president, waar die onder Obama nog enigszins beperkt werden en om een zijstraat in te slaan de sloopkogels die de president en zijn entourage loslieten op de positie van de Palestijnen (Israël is sowieso vrijwel afwezig in het boek).

Pers

Een hoofdstuk heeft als titel:
Oorlogsverslaggeving in tijden van nepfeiten. Het is een verzameling artikelen en essay dat zijn mening stap voor stap uiteenzet. Cockburn is niet positief over de rol van de media bij het verslaan van oorlog. Hij ziet eenzijdige berichtgeving en noemt de noodzaal van permanente scepsis, omdat de claims van overheden lang niet altijd kloppen (bewust of onbewust). Bij het kiezen voor een onafhankelijke koers kan je rekenen op giftige kritiek dat je een 'misbruikte idioot bent die onpatriottisch valse feiten de wereld inslingert.' Zo wordt de boodschapper gemarginaliseerd of zelfs gecriminaliseerd. Soms blijkt pas vele jaren later dat die journalist wél de juiste feiten bracht en en overheden nepfeiten opdienden (de toespraak van Colin Powell over Iraakse massavernietingswapens is exemplarisch). Cockburn geeft verschillende voorbeelden, zoals een fabriek voor chemische wapens die toch echt een melkpoeder fabriek bleek of het aantal burgerdoden dat viel door bombardementen en veel groter bleek dan overheden aan wilden geven. In Nederland koste het nogal wat moeite om de burgerdoden in Hawija op de agenda te krijgen.

Het begrip 'oorlogsmist' werpt zelf mist op aldus de auteur. Er is immers geen sprake van per abuis ontstane gezichtsbeperking, maar van opzettelijke misleiding met desinformatie. Dat is niet nieuw dat is altijd deel geweest van de oorlogsvoering (ook hier had hij Sun Tzu kunnen citeren die 2500 jaar geleden zijn Art of War schreef). Informatie (juist of vals) is een wapen. Von Clauzewitz gebruikte het begip mist als metafoor voor de verwarrende informatie tijdens oorlog. Cockburn geeft er een bredere betekenis aan. Volgens de auteur is in de strijd tussen journalist en propagandist de tweede aan de winnende hand. Journalisten hebben het nakijken vanwege a) politieke, b) financiële en c) technische redenen. Overheden hebben steeds geavanceerdere middelen om hun waarheid naar voren te schuiven, media zijn in handen van steeds minder eigenaars en kiezen liever niet voor een kont tegen de krib en daarbij komt dat inzet in oorlogsgebieden gevaarlijker is geworden en meer kost. Het is een sombere boodschap. Losse tegenwerpingen zijn gemakkelijk te vinden, maar over de grote lijn lijkt het te kloppen.

Cockburn heeft tips voor de beginnende journalist. Overheden en strijdgroepen zijn accurater in het beschrijven van de misdaden van de tegenstanders dan van het eigen optreden. Kijk niet alleen met een bril voor 'sensatie', maar naar de werkelijke betekenis van optreden. Vatenbommen zijn mediagenieker dan artilleriegranaten, maar die laatsten richten wel meer schade aan. Het leidt tot zijn uitspraak dat het weinig zin heeft een bepaald soort wapen te verbieden, zeker als dat niet het belangrijkste is. De ooggetuige is belangrijk voor een rapportage, maar verschillende getuigen kunnen op dezelfde vraag ook verschillend antwoorden. Als de journalist in in oktober 2018 vraagt wie de bewoners van Idlib het liefst als machthebber zien dan zegt de een Turkije, maar een ander antwoord liever geen van beide, slecht 10 procent is voor Turks bestuur. Heeft oorlogsverslaggeving een betekenis ten goede of kwade, vraagt hij zich af na een leven lang oorlogsjournalist te zijn geweest. Het antwoord op grond zijn ervaringen komt er op neer dat bij voldoende verslaggeving duur en scherpte van de strijd kunnen verminderen. Bovendien is oorlogsjournalistiek noodzakelijk omdat veel politici in oorlogen stappen zonder te weten waar het werkelijk om gaat.

Veertig jaar oorlog

Het boek bundelt verhalen over gruwelen of die nu uit de loop van een geweer, artillerie, uit de lucht of van een zwaard komen. De namen van steden als Raqqa, en Mosoel zijn prominent aanwezig. Het boek verhaalt over schuivende allianties, afkeer, haat en kiezen uit kwaden. Het is een verslag van een geschiedenis die we graag zouden vergeten. De teksten zijn bouwstenen voor het beoordelen van de beschreven oorlogen die als een veenbrand flakkerden in Irak, op zouden laaien over de grens van Syrië en zou worden aangewakkerd met tal van buitenlandse blaasbalgen die militaire steun en wapens leverden. Landen gebruikten de oorlog om de eigen belangen te versterken en/of tegenstanders te verzwakken.

In het voorjaar van 2018 schreef hij dat de Koerden in Afrin door de pers niet gezien worden, maar dat klopt volgens mij niet. Het verhaal kwam wel in de krant, maar met een soort realiteitsclausule. Het land dat de Koerden in hun bezit hebben, zullen ze niet houden. Turkije zal dat niet accepteren. Ze hebben de VS nodig om controle te houden. Maar Washington zal ooit zijn steun intrekken. Cockburn stelt anderzijds dat slachtoffers in Ghouta wel met empathie in de pers verslagen worden. Daar blijft die reality check achterwege en is de boze boeman, gewoon de boze boeman. Dat is het grote verschil niet dat Turkse aanvallen uit de media bleven, zelfs dat de voorwaartse troepen bestonden uit voormalige strijders van al-Qaida en ISIS wordt wel eens vermeld. Die realiteit zou de opmaat voor nieuw geweld zijn. (Voor veel Europese landen reden om wapenverkopen aan Turkije te beperken, al lees ik dat niet in het boek).

Meer dan een boek over de buitenlandse politiek van Trump is het een verslag van vijf jaar van een oorlog die in 1990 begon en volgens Cockburn nu uitgewoed is. Hij schrijft op 25 oktober 2019: “De sektarische en burgeroorlogen die hebben gewoed over grote delen van het Midden-Oosten in de afgelopen veertig jaar naderen hun einde.” Conflicten zullen nu gaan draaien om binnenlands politieke problemen, corruptie en nepotisme, voegt hij daar aan toe. Een optimistische visie.

Boosheid schragen

War in the age of Trump bevat berichten uit de voorbije jaren. Alles bij elkaar tussen een kaft, maakt dat het nog eens hard op je bord valt. Rapport na rapport wordt door de schrijver geciteerd. Zo zijn niet alle sancties gunstig. Syrië met elf miljoen ontheemden, zo ongeveer de helft van de bevolking was in 2019 binnen- of buitenlandse vluchteling. Sancties door VS en EU droegen bij aan zowel de opkomst van ISIS in Irak als in Syrië stelt Cockburn (pp. 147-48). Medische voorzieningen hadden te kampen met grote tekorten doordat dual-use items niet meer werden geleverd. Al in 2012 wist de Defense Intelligence Agency dat de salafisten, Moslim Broederschap en al-Qaida in Irak het belangrijkste deel van de oppositie tegen Asad waren, zo blijkt uit een rapport. Toch bleef de – ook Westeerse – steun voor de oppositie onverminderd groot. “Saoedi-Arabië, Qatar en Turkije gaven doorslaggevende steun aan de krachten tegen de Syrische overheid waarbij ze weinig problemen hadden dat het om Al-Qaeida kloons ging,” schrijft Cockburn.

Het is misschien een beetje raar een boek te lezen met de cover de naam van president Trump als hij bijna uit het Witte Huis verdwenen is, maar dat valt mee. Bovendien voor Cockburn is Trump niet verdwenen. Hij schrijft een hartgrondige aanklacht tegen de president vanwege zijn schuldigheid aan de ethische zuivering in Noord-Irak, de moorden, verkrachtingen en geweld op een schaal die we ons niet voor kunnen stellen.

Hoe zich dat verhoudt tot het Turkije impliciet lof toezwaaien voor de strijd in Syrië door de NAVO secretaris generaal? Hij zei in een toespraak: “Turkije is een gewaardeerde bondgenoot, en een belangrijke bondgenoot, omdat het land bijvoorbeeld een belangrijke rol speelt in het gevecht tegen het internationale terrorisme. Turkije is het enige land dat grenst aan Syrië en Irak. Het land was belangrijk in het geven van infrastructuur en wapensystemen voor het bevrijden van gebieden onder controlle van ISIS.” De Turkse media brachten zijn woorden vervolgens met trotse zwier. Gelukkig zijn er ook journalisten als Cockburn die de boosheid over dergelijke woorden schragen en zorgen dat de kritiek gedeeld wordt, zodat je meer weet en niet alleen staat.

dinsdag 1 december 2020

My tweets for December 2020

Latest on top (updated regularly) : 
https://twitter.com/martinbroek

December 31

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US State Department cleared 2 FMSales to Egypt.

1) 20 Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods, $65.6m.

2) Northrop Grumman countermeasures #LAIRCM suite aboard the an Airbus A340-200 used to transport the country’s head of state, $104m. https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/archive-date/202012

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Egyptian delegation to the Government of National Accord informed the GNA on the urgency of stopping all Turkish arms exports, the need to dismantle the armed militias, and Egypt’s rejection of all Turkish military bases in Libya.
https://egyptindependent.com/cairo-says-it-utterly-rejects-all-turkish-military-bases-in-libya/

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US State Department cleared sale of 2 King Air Scorpion Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) mission aircraft to Kazakhstan fitted with Raytheon sensors, Leonardo radars etc.
https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/major-arms-sales/kazakhstan-king-air-b300er-scorpion-aircraft-intelligence-surveillance

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The arms trade is a vital aspect of geopolitical strategies. Unlike the virtual world, the victims of these games are all too real. Thoughts on the WHY? of arms trade at Polish supported Belarussian channel.
https://belsat.eu/en/news/who-gets-rich-on-the-arms-market-eng-explainer/

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Korean Daewoo shipyard is selected for a military project to develop core technologies (control system, power system simulator) for next-generation all-electric warships. The ships will have a design similar to the very expensive USN Zumwalt.
https://www.ajudaily.com/view/20201228115317435

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The Trump administration is facing legal action over the “rushed” sale of $23bn (£17bn) worth of arms to the United Arab Emirates, amid concern the weapons could be used indiscriminately in the ongoing Yemen civil war.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-uae-arms-sale-weapons-b1779974.html

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Arming the Middle East. he US State Department has cleared a foreign military sale of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to Kuwait worth an estimated $4 billion, according to a Dec. 29 post by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/12/29/us-greenlights-4b-attack-helicopter-sale-to-kuwait/

https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/major-arms-sales/kuwait-ah-64e-apache-helicopters

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For who thinks arms trade to Turkey is blocked and controlled. Dutch Thales, US Raytheon and Boeing and Italian Leonardo weapons systems are installed on new Turkish naval vessel.

Replying to @martinbroek by Naval Analyses (source for tweet) @D__Mitch Dec 31, 2020 This is company's project description from 2015-16. More likely these systems will be replaced by Turkish ones. (More in tweet)

December 30

Retweet Radio Free Amanda Yu Mina @catcontentonly New hobby is googling the think tanks affiliated with every rabid anti-China op-ed writer, and then looking up how much weapons contractors have contributed to them lol. With eamples in thread.

December 27

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In 2019, several weapons-producing countries in the EU (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands) individually halted or restricted arms sales to Turkey.

A full embargo would by a welcome extension & a start of tighter sanctions. https://www.meforum.org/61883/erdogan-reprieve-on-eu-sanctions

December 26

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DW: Spies, lies & arms – Germany’s shipping companies and the arms trade, reposted on 26/12/2020. https://adamsmith.wordpress.com/2020/12/26/dw-spies-lies-arms-germanys-shipping-companies-and-the-arms-trade/

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Fully aware of the Azeri and Turkish desire to rid the region, once and for all, of its indigenous Armenians, Israel found a highly lucrative opportunity to profit from misery, to the tune of $5bn worth of arms sales to Azerbaijan over the past years. Why?
https://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/readers-opinion/article247568840.html

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Solidarity with Turkish journalist Can Dündar means ending the cuddle course with Erdogan.
https://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2020/12/24/mil-osi-translation-solidarity-with-can-dundar-means-ending-the-cuddle-course-with-erdogan/

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The issue of defence cooperation between Bangladesh and Turkey was discussed during the meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen.
https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2020/12/23/turkish-foreign-minister-bangladesh-a-rising-star-in-south-asia

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The Council of the EU prolonged the mandates of Operation ATALANTA which will contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Somalia and will support the ongoing fight against Al Shabaab and its funding streams.
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/nl/press/press-releases/2020/12/23/operation-atalanta-eutm-somalia-and-eucap-somalia-mandates-extended-for-two-more-years/

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Myanmar buys military aircraft from Jordan as part of efforts to reduce dependence on China. The transport planes, CASA C295s, can be outfitted to deploy paratroopers or serve as gunships and are manufactured & assembled at the Airbus facility in Seville.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com//news/defence/myanmar-buys-military-aircraft-from-jordan-as-part-of-efforts-to-reduce-dependence-on-china/articleshow/79962919.cms

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Goed om te lezen, artikel over militaire handelingen in het cyberdomein, persistent engagement, stabilisatie of escalatie? Het Amerikaanse #CYBERCOM lijkt “afbreuk te doen aan het internationale recht.” Wat zijn de gevolgen en mogelijkheden voor Nederland? https://www.militairespectator.nl/thema/operaties/artikel/persistent-engagement-het-cyberdomein-stabilisatie-escalatie

December 25

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South Korea builds online exhibition hall. The online exhibition hall displays 850 different products from more than 160 enterprises in South Korea’s defence and military industry, in an attempt to drive South Korea’s arms exports.
https://yyoutdoors.com/south-korea-builds-online-exhibition-hall-to-promote-arms-sales/

***
December 23 it was reported that Trump administration has notified Congress of its intent to issue licenses for the sale of 7500 precision-guided munitions #PGMs valued $478m to Saudi Arabia. Sales of PGMs to Saudi's 've been particularly controversial. https://www.forumarmstrade.org/lameducksaudisales.html

December 24

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Was to be expected, but is this what NATO members want? NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he supports the use of armed drones to protect soldiers’ lives, wading into a fierce debate in Germany about buying such technology for future operations. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/12/23/nato-chief-wades-into-fiery-german-debate-on-armed-drones/

***
South Africa is allowed to deport businessman (arms trader) Guus Kouwenhoven convicted in the Netherlands for war crimes. https://www.ruetir.com/2020/12/23/south-africa-is-allowed-to-deport-businessman-kouwenhoven-convicted-in-the-netherlands/

Court procedures on extradition: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAWCHC/2020/185.html

Addition: Rotterdamse wapenhandelaar Kouwenhoven mag Zuid-Afrika worden uitgezet https://www.rijnmond.nl/nieuws/202443/Rotterdamse-wapenhandelaar-Kouwenhoven-mag-Zuid-Afrika-worden-uitgezet

December 23

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Investigation into a data theft at Leonardo has found that a hacker working inside the Italian defense group appeared to target details of Europe’s biggest unmanned fighter jet program and aircraft used by the military and police, an arrest warrant shows.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-leonardo-espionage-exclusive/exclusive-leonardo-hack-targeted-military-plane-details-arrest-warrant-shows-idUSKBN28W296

***
Turkey expressed its keenness to enhance “defence cooperation” with Bangladesh and go for “joint production and technology transfer” with different countries including Bangladesh as Turkey’s defence capacity is growing.
https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/foreign-affairs/2020/12/24/turkey-keen-to-enhance-defence-cooperation-with-bangladesh

***

Europe's guided missile group MBDA, is pushing ahead with a EU 5-nation project #Twister. By 2030 it should be able to detect hypersonic weapons as early as possible, and combat the missiles. Led by France, it involves Finland, Italy, Netherlands & Spain. https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/plus222987764/Aera-der-Hyperschallwaffen-Albtraum-fuer-unsere-Sicherheit.html

***
Like Proust's Madeleine, the topci of defence industrial cooperation surfaces regular, two scientist note. They give an overview and ruminate that the armaments programs are windows of opportunity for further European integration. In that case: non, merci.
https://theconversation.com/lindustrie-de-defense-en-europe-la-cooperation-ou-le-declassement-151454

***
In the past decade, Middle East's turmoil has been exacerbated by the Saudi, Iranian, Israeli, Qatari, Turkish & UAE, and equally if not more by American, European and Russian machinations, to say nothing of the arms sales that fuel the conflicts.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1597342/bitter-spring

***
“The sentencing of Can Dündar - who revealed secret arms trafficking to Syria - to over 27 years in prison is a scandal and an attack on independent journalism”, explains Sevim Dagdelen of Die Linke. Solidarity is to discontinue arms exports to Turkey.
https://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2020/12/24/mil-osi-translation-solidarity-with-can-dundar-means-ending-the-cuddle-course-with-erdogan/

***
Turkey issued a new naval advisory, known as NAVTEX, for its seismic vessel Oruc Reis to resume operations in the Greek-claimed waters of the Eastern Mediterraneannear the Greek island of Kastellorizo till Jun 150621, several local sources reported 221220. https://see.news/turkey-to-continue-provocation-in-eastern-mediterranean/

***
Buried inside the massive $2.3 trillion spending package passed by US Congress on Monday was a $286 million lifeline for General Atomics that will keep the Air Force buying MQ-9 Reaper drones at least one more year.
https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/12/22/congress-resurrected-the-mq-9-reaper-program-adding-16-drones-for-the-air-force/

***
On the ENAAT website the latest News from the Brussels' Bubble. Main items:

- EU MoDs informal meeting of 20/11 discussed military capabilities & Strategic Compass

- European Peace Facility: political agreement and compromise on lethal equipments exports

http://enaat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/ENAAT-NBB-2020-4_22.12.2020.pdf

Addition: And in short:

- Arming EU border guards: a legal issue?

- Climate Change and Defence Roadmap: the worrying EU narrative

- Subjective list of interesting links: AI for military use, peace mediation and others.

http://enaat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/ENAAT-NBB-2020-4_22.12.2020.pdf

***
Automatically translated article on Spanish strategic exports (gives a kind of rough info).

Record of Spanish arms sales authorizations: 22,545 million in the first half of this year.

https://pledgetimes.com/record-of-arms-sales-authorizations-22545-million-in-the-first-half-of-this-year/

***
The Defence Committee of the Spanish Congress demanded the Government to be extreme careful during licensing arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the other countries involved in the war in Yemen. Initiative came from Podemos and was supported by the PSOE. https://thediplomatinspain.com/en/2020/12/congress-asks-government-to-monitor-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia/

***
Damen seen as potential candidate to deliver naval vessels for Guinea Ecuatorial naval forces. https://embajada-guinea-ecuatorial.com/en/nvono-nca-decided-to-protect-equatorial-guineas-maritime-security/

December 22

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Turkey is selling four locally made stealth corvettes to its littoral Black Sea neighbor Ukraine as part of a larger framework agreement to enhance bilateral cooperation in defense procurement. What systems and weapons and wherefrom will be installed?
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/12/21/ukraine-to-buy-turkish-warships-co-produce-drones/

***
An old Swedish submarine was relaunched after a 12-month mid-life upgrade, defense contractor Saab announced. The HMS Uppland, the second in the Gotland class of three submarines, had 50 new systems installed or modified.
https://www.saab.com/newsroom/press-releases/2020/saab-delivers-upgrade-gotland-class-submarine-to-sweden

***
A community that connects the innovation, technology & business ecosystems of Israel and UAE was launched last week. The establishment of the UAE-IL Tech Zone, the first community of its kind, follows the signing of the Abraham Accords by the two counties.
https://www.finanzen.at/nachrichten/aktien/start-up-nation-central-snc-launches-uae-il-tech-zone-the-first-uae-and-israel-innovation-community-in-collaboration-with-nobex-hybrid-and-fusion-la-1029893913

***
Why sanctions against Turkey will stay limited: Turkey's continued membership of NATO remains an important objective for both Brussels & Washington, despite Ankara's increasingly antagonistic attitude towards its NATO partners & its military 'adventurism'. https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/turkey-forges-a-strategic-future-independent-of-russia-and-the-west/

***
Call for action: Germany should suspend its delivery of submarines to Turkey to avoid igniting a war in the Eastern Mediterranean. EU should institutionalize an arms embargo against countries that disrespect the rule of law and threaten its member states. https://www.jpost.com/opinion/the-eu-must-address-the-turkish-problem-652838

***
EP demands arms export licences for Egypt mustn't be approved for arms that might be used for domestic repression, but it stopped short of recommending an arms embargo. Egypt is one of the largest clients for Dutch, French, German and Italian arms exports. http://www.eiu.com/public/signup.aspxhttp://country.eiu.com/Egypt/ArticleList/Updates

Addition: Egypt’s parliament and human rights organizations on Saturday have further condemned a European report on the state of Egyptian human rights, calling it both “opportunistic” and “an explicit violation of human rights.” https://egyptindependent.com/aegypts-parliament-slams-opportunistic-eu-human-rights-reportegyptian-parliament-slams-eu-report-on-human-rights-situation/

***
BCP Labour Party (South England, Hampshire) oppose bid for Freeport status. Labour added: "Zones at airports and ports are also prone to attract criminal activity including money laundering, drug trafficking and arms trade." https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/18958657.bcp-labour-party-oppose-bid-freeport-status/

***
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar—accounted for 20% of global small arms imports in 2017, including 57% of all imported light weapons, 49% of imported military firearms, and 29% of the world’s ammunition imports. https://reliefweb.int/report/world/small-arms-survey-trade-update-2020-eye-ammunition-transfers-africa

***
The conflict in the eastern Mediterranean continues to make waves. Germany's EU partner Greece is calling for an arms embargo against Ankara. German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas of the SPD does not think this is a good idea. #submarines https://www.welt.de/newsticker/dpa_nt/infoline_nt/brennpunkte_nt/article223036252/Maas-gegen-Stopp-aller-Ruestungsexporte-in-die-Tuerkei.html

December 21

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Baku's success in using Turkish drones raises question: Could Ukraine use them against Russia in Crimea? Ukrainian arms trade state committee UkrSpetsEksport, has announced that Kyiv is prepared to purchase 48 of these battle-tested UAVs.
https://jamestown.org/program/bakus-success-in-using-turkish-drones-raises-question-could-ukraine-use-them-against-russia-in-crimea/

***
Isn't it strange? Much = written since 2002 by global media on new submarines for Taiwan. Building them started somewhat in 2020. But there hasn't been much written on Dutch submarine tech sales to Tapei valued €495m since 2004. Arms trading by stealth seems easy when your tiny.


***
"There's a problem with the revolving door between the secretary of defense job and active-duty military officers, but the revolving door between the Pentagon and weapons manufacturers is even more troubling." https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/12/21/opinion/there-should-be-tug-revolving-door-between-defense-contractors-top-pentagon-post/

***
While Trump administration hasn't invoked CAATSA sanctions against Indian acquisition because of Russian S-400, it isn't clear what the the incoming Biden administration will do. Issue will tabled most likely when India missiles are delivered in 2021. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/the-long-russian-arms-in-the-skies/article33376234.ece

***
New Delhi: Paris over Washington? Even as US may remain India's preeminent partner in the Indo-Pacific, France's "resident power" status renders it to be India's partner of choice. Both spur the arms race. US 550% & FR 572% increase (5 year periods given). https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/india-partnership-france-eclipse-ties-us/

***
Using blames & denials on violating Libiyan arms embargo as a policy tool in the case of appointing a new special envoy 4 Libya. Now US choice, the Bulgarian diplomat Nickolay Mladenov, currently UN coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, is named. https://www.libyanexpress.com/russia-accuses-us-of-blocking-the-appointment-of-un-envoy-to-libya/

Addition: For who want a facts based view on violations of the arms embargo. The annual Final report of the Panel of Experts on Libya established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1973 (2011) gives an overload of information. Last report December 9, 2019 https://undocs.org/S/2019/914

Addition: The diplomatic maneuvers could leave Africa with only a minimal voice in the mediation of a war in its own continent, spurred almost a decade ago by a Western military intervention that the African Union staunchly opposed. https://www.passblue.com/2020/11/16/sidelining-africans-the-us-imposes-its-own-choice-for-un-envoy-to-libya/

***
Safran Group has named Olivier Andriès as Executive Vice President. A clear example how to be educated in the French Governmental institutions (Finance where he oversaw aerospace and military companies) to be later employed by the same weapon industry. https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2055660236879/press-release-safran-names-olivier-andris-evp-before-succeeding-ceo

***
Greek navy speeds up acquisition of new frigates. US (multi-role frigates MMSC, intermediate solution Arleigh Burke destroyers), French (Belhara frigates) and Dutch Damen (Sigma frigates, intermediate solution 2 Dutch navy M-frigates) mentioned candidates. https://newpost.gr/amyna/5fdf2804879ebbfd11f5b441/ayxanontai-oi-mnistires-gia-tis-nees-ellinikes-fregates-irthe-i-ora-ton-apofaseon-to-paraskinio-kai-ta-kritiria

***
Vrijwel elke nacht is het raak: het Israëlische leger valt Palestijnse huizen binnen, met of zonder goede reden. Dat zorgt voor blijvende trauma’s. https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2020/12/20/israelische-soldaten-bij-je-bed-wen-er-maar-aan-a4024575

December 20

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Political scientist Hasni Abidi shortly analyses the Arab Spring. Relations between Paris and Cairo, are founded above all on security and sales of weaponry, despite the disastrous record of human rights in Egypt. We want stable regimes, whatever the cost. https://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/monde/proche-moyen-orient/printemps-arabes-10-ans-apres-les-europeens-ont-rate-un-rendez-vous-avec-l-histoire_2141019.html

***
"We will [ the US] pass for hypocrites. We oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine and refuse to recognize its control over Crimea, but we support the Moroccan invasion and its control of Western Sahara," said democratic senator Christopher Murphy. http://www.aps.dz/monde/114497-sahara-occidental-reconnaitre-la-souverainete-marocaine-une-hypocrisie

***
German government issued less arms export licenses as in 2019, a record year with a total of €8,015bn. Until December 10 the Bundesregierung licensed arms exports valued at the enormous €5,635bn. Figures were provided to Sevim Dagdelen of Die Linke. https://www.greenpeace-magazin.de/ticker/deutsche-ruestungsexporte-nach-rekordjahr-deutlich-gesunken

Addition: Exports to Egypt are the most sensitive. The country, which has been ruled with a hard hand, is criticized for human rights violations. It is part of the Saudi-led war coalition in Yemen and is also involved in the Libya conflict, German N-TV stated. https://www.n-tv.de/wirtschaft/Deutsche-Ruestungsexporte-brechen-ein-article22245734.html

***
Taiwan has begun building a fleet of submarines to further bolster its military capabilities. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/19/asia/taiwan-submarine-fleet-analysis-intl-hnk-ml/index.html

Dutch submarine (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/SS793_Submarines1.jpg) sales to Taiwan in Jan-Oct 2020.



***
CAATSA designed not to take punitive action against friends, allies: US diplomat. But “This was a very hard but necessary choice.

https://www.deccanherald.com/international/world-news-politics/caatsa-designed-not-to-take-punitive-action-against-friends-allies-us-diplomat-928685.html

***
Germany and the Netherlands have signed an agreement yesterday to work jointly on a next generation frigate which will replace the German Navy Sachsen-class (F124) and the Royal Netherlands Navy De Zeven Provinciën-class (LCF) frigates. https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/12/germany-and-the-netherlands-joining-forces-for-f-124-lcf-frigate-replacement/

***
The Japanese MoD and the Japan Business Federation have agreed to step up cooperation in selling protection gear and know-how exports. (Watch out while Europeans use the word 'defence' for military, Japan uses even 'protection gear' for war materiel). https://whitenewspaper.com/2020/12/19/defense-ministry-to-team-up-with-keidanren-to-promote-arms-exports/

***
The EU is “moving at a slow pace” in its response to Turkish provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean, but Athens will continue pushing for sanctions “with patience and persistence,” Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Saturday. https://www.ekathimerini.com/260472/article/ekathimerini/news/fm-accuses-brussels-of-slow-pace-on-sanctions

***

Q&A UK Government has taken revocation action 74 times on individual licences; and suspended licences, pending further investigations, four times. https://members.parliament.uk/member/4277/writtenquestions#expand-1252282 To compare: the Netherlands denied 100 export licenses in the period 2015-2019. https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/rapporten/2019/03/04/historisch-overzicht-afgewezen-aanvragen-voor-militaire-goederen

December 19

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India's MoD greenlit the development of 6 new Airborne Early Warning Control #AWACS to be built by the Defence Research & Development Organisation #DRDO. They will, reportedly, be fitted on modified Airbus A320s operated by the national carrier, Air India.
https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/def-min-approves-rs-10500-cr-eyes-in-the-sky-project-how-drdos-awacs-will-boost-indias-border-vigilance/696116

Addition: Indian MoD is preparing for the possibility of conflicts with China or Pakistan. Pakistan has eight early warning planes based on Swedish Saab 2000 planes and the Chinese ZDK-03, while the Chinese Air Force has 30 early warning planes of various variants. https://www.israeldefense.co.il/en/node/47216

***
Airbus Defense has requested a final commercial offer from General Electric and Safran Helicopter Engines for the engine of the European MALE drone, the Eurodrone. Will Safran HE seize its chance and catch up with GE's offer?
https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/moteurs-de-l-eurodrone-derniere-chance-pour-safran-de-supplanter-general-electric-867134.html

***
Because the German MoD hasn't budgeted a billion-dollar project of a completely new missile defense system in the foreseeable future, MBDA Germany - Germany's leading manufacturer of guided weapons & cruise missiles - threatens to cut 300 of its 1200 jobs.
https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article222837294/Ruestungskonzern-MBDA-Drama-um-die-neue-deutschen-Raketenabwehr.html

***
EP-resolution: "calls for the EU to implement in full its export controls vis-à-vis Egypt with regard to goods that could be used for repression, torture or capital punishment."

That's were debate starts. Must naval vessels, fighter aircraft be included?

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/RC-9-2020-0426_EN.html

December 18

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Drones are used in war zones around the world, with little in the way of oversight or accountability. We are always told how accurate they are, but the civilian cost has been devastating.
https://www.thenational.scot/news/18953278.action-required-halt-rise-drones/

***
Ahmed Al-Batati, former corporal in UK army, staged a protest against British arms sales to Saudi Arabia in August, concerned that “a child was dying every 10 minutes” in Yemen. In his first interview since he tells that others in the army share his view. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-12-18-a-lot-of-people-share-my-opinion-within-the-military-says-soldier-who-protested-against-uk-arms-exports-to-saudi-arabia/

***
Christoph Marischka, Artificial Intelligence in European Defence: Autonomous Armament? Report, 52 pages.

“The ongoing armament of the European Union, driven by digitalisation and artificial intelligence (AI), poses a threat to the populations of Europe.” https://oezlem-alev-demirel.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/KI-Ruestung-engl-web.pdf

***
Retweet @ArmsTradeCT : When it comes to justifying arms sales, one of the greatest arguments used by its supporters that the industry is a significant contributor to the greater national economy, particularly by creating job positions. However, the evidence shows this to be highly misleading. (1/6)

***
Billions of pounds’ worth of arms resumed flowing from the UK to Saudi Arabia since July when the UK claimed any Saudi air strikes in Yemen were simply “isolated incidents.” Trade Secretary Truss said it to defend a policy against UK arms export criteria.
https://bylinetimes.com/2020/12/17/the-governments-excuse-for-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia-goes-against-its-own-policy/

***
Arms trade relations must not prevent Paris to ask UAE for explanations over the use of a closed gas plant in Yemen, partially owned by the French energy giant Total, as a secret prison by the Emirati army, with torture & human rights violations reported.
https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/france-must-question-uae-over-use-of-total-pl-1117094.html

***
Retweet @dgprPaknavy Induction ceremony of state of the art Corvette, PNS TABUK was held at PN Dockyard, Khi. Chief Guest, CNS Adm Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi termed induction of PNS TABUK as an important milestone for PN to enhance Ops capabilities & promote maritime security in the region.(1/2)

CNS acknowledged M/s DAMEN Shipyards (Romania) for cooperation & delivering high quality platforms. Naval Chief urged officers & men to make full use of combat potential in safeguarding country's maritime interests.1st corvette, PNS YARMOOK was inducted in July this year.(2/2)

Met videoclip.

***
Turkish Daily Sabah reports that Turkish Aerospace Industries sold three Anka unmanned air vehicles to Tunisia. Around 52 Tunisian pilots and maintenance personnel will go to Ankara for training. https://www.dailysabah.com/business/defense/turkish-aerospace-industries-to-make-1st-anka-uav-export-to-tunisia-local-media

December 17

***
Please have a look at the new design of the EU arms export browser on the ENAAT website. http://enaat.org/eu-export-browser

Many thanks to CAAT's brilliant work.

***
EU Sea Defence project starts. It will lead to next generation naval capabilities which will effectively support the European naval forces against potential future threats. starts. Zoom screen shot shows lobuists, MoD officials & military industrialists. https://www.damen.com/en/news/2020/12/official_kick_off_of_the_edidp_funded_sea_defence_project



***
The European Commission has awarded Estonia and the country’s robotics company Milrem a grant to lead the way on a standard architecture for military unmanned ground vehicles, the company announced. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/12/16/european-union-awards-grant-to-forge-unmanned-ground-vehicle-standard/

***
European nations want to build a €6bn alternative to Elon Musk’s Starlink network so the region isn’t left behind in the race to develop satellite broadband. EU officials signed off on a study for a low-earth orbit constellation similar to Starlink.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/europe-wants-its-own-alternative-to-elon-musk-s-starlink-network

***
Combat drones become an topic for German 2021 elections. SPD can't take a position, so it will go to die Grünen.

Drohnen werden Wahlkampfthema. Kampfdrohnen, ja oder nein? Die SPD kann sich nicht festlegen. Damit könnte das Thema auf die Grünen zurollen. https://taz.de/SPD-Waffen-und-Haushaltsausschuss/!5734120/

Addition: Germany May Receive Israeli Heron-TP UAVs without Weapons https://www.defenseworld.net/news/28575/Germany_May_Receive_Israeli_Heron_TP_UAVs_without_Weapons

***
Retweet @FrankSlijper: Emergence of 'new' weapon producers has led to diversification in global arms trade. New @SIPRIorg briefing looks at arms industry in Brazil, South Korea, Turkey and United Arab Emirates https://sipri.org/publications/2020/sipri-insights-peace-and-security/emerging-suppliers-global-arms-trade

***
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee #AIPAC has a reputation – inaccurate – for opposing nearly every arms sale to any Arab country it considered hostile to Israel. However recently it stated no objections to F-35 sale to authoritarian ruled UAE. https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/aipac-when-israel-lobbies-for-the-arabs-652346

***
EU aims to further enhance cyber defence cooperation & develop cyber defence capabilities, building on the work of EDA & encouraging Member states to make full use of the Permanent Structured Cooperation and the EDF. https://www.eureporter.co/frontpage/2020/12/16/new-eu-cybersecurity-strategy-and-new-rules-to-make-physical-and-digital-critical-entities-more-resilient/

What does defence mean here? Military?

***
Greek paper states that German CDU will follow US on foreign policy included arms exports. “Issues related to arms exports and deliveries must be discussed within NATO." Merkel refused to make a decisive decision on the sale of German Type 214 submarine. https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/12/17/germany-independent-policy-biden/

December 16

***
Retweet @FerretScot: SNP ‘misleading’ for condemning UK military spending after lobbying for defence contracts https://theferret.scot/snp-uk-military-budget-lobbying-defence-contracts/ via @ferretscot

***
Retweet: @Drone_Wars_UK @AlynSmith of @theSNPintroduces bill in House of Commons for greater parliamentary oversight of arms exports and UK use of armed #drones. Also calls for pre-emptive ban on lethal autonomous weapons (#LAWS) Watch here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/2579fa12-aef6-43ea-af82-2532aed86c7f

Addition: More on the same: SNP call for ban on 'killer robots' as Westminster 'buries head in the sand'https://www.thenational.scot/news/18949058.snp-call-ban-killer-robots-westminster-buries-head-sand/

***
Chillingly, of the next 10 countries predicted to acquire armed drones, 9 are trapped in long-running territorial disputes or fighting internal wars. The international system may soon face a new round of conflicts propelled by proliferation of armed drones.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2020-12-16/drones-are-destabilizing-global-politics

***
Good news (protest works): Victory! Seville cancels the Electronic Warfare Europe arms fair which was scheduled to take place at the Palace of Exhibitions and Congresses of Fibes in Seville in May 2021.
https://www.pressenza.com/2020/12/victory-seville-cancels-electronic-warfare-europe-arms-fair/

***
World welcomes US sanctions on Turkey, but should India be worried?
http://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay.aspx?newsID=782017

***
Will US sanctions on Turkey over Russian missiles doom Pak plan for choppers, ships?
https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2020/12/15/will-us-sanctions-turkey-over-russian-missiles-doom-pak-plan-for-choppers-ships.html

***
A report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project revealed a Jordanian role in efforts of the military in Myanmar to acquire European-manufactured aircrafts, in an attempt to circumvent international sanctions on the Tatmadaw.
https://www.albawaba.com/node/why-jordan-selling-arms-sanctioned-myanmar-military-1399114

***
The view from Turkey on why the West is wrong to sanction Ankara and why it will strengthen the regional power in the long run. It forgets a lot to tell, e.g. how important Western tech still is for the build-up of its domestic defence industry.
https://www.dailysabah.com/opinion/columns/caatsa-what-doesnt-kill-you-makes-you-stronger

***
Turkish-EU relations: Why won't the bloc take a hard line on Turkey? As is often the case with EU foreign policy, national interests generally trump everything else.
https://www.euronews.com/2020/12/15/turkish-eu-relations-why-won-t-the-bloc-take-a-hard-line-on-turkey

***
As the EU prepares its 3rd package of sanctions against Belarusia, demands are growing for the West to apply greater economic pressure, in particular to consider banning the supply of certain IT products. Could such sanctions really work?
https://globalvoices.org/2020/12/15/how-global-tech-companies-enable-the-belarusian-regime-and-the-belarusian-revolution/

***
The note on Damen is remarkable. The Dutch aren't an interesting partner for Greece, because not significant enough as counter weight against Turkey. So France has a better chance to sell arms (included 18 Rafales of which 12 second hand).
https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/le-rafale-sur-le-point-d-atterrir-en-grece-866787.html

***
Defense Bill Aims Additional Sanctions at Turkey, Russia, and China. https://www.mofo.com/resources/insights/201214-defense-bill-sanctions.html

***
Ukraine MoD Andrii Taran has signed a number of defence contracts with Turkish companies. This event took place during the visit of the Turkish delegation led by the President of Defence Industries of the Republic of Turkey İsmail Demir.
https://www.mil.gov.ua/en/news/2020/12/14/for-the-first-time-the-ministry-of-defence-signed-direct-foreign-economic-contracts-for-military-goods-andrii-taran/

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Who said Covid-19 should shift priorities towards a different paradigm on security? Sweden’s parliament approved a 40% increase in the defence budget for 2021-25 because of tensions in the Baltic Sea region in recent years, with Russia as main reason.
https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/12/15/sweden-ups-defense-budget-40-due-to-regional-tensions/

***
Most significant has been the EU’s failure to effectively combat Libya’s arms proliferation, ranging from light weapons to heavy equipment and advanced military technology. https://www.eubulletin.com/11508-eu-in-libya-foreign-interference-and-disarmament.html

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Effects of US sanctions on Turkey. They will impact structural upgrades to Turkey’s F-16 and Turkey’s $1.5 bn sale of attack helicopters to Pakistan, both depend on US export licenses. They're there because Turkish acquisition of Russian missiles, not HR. https://ahvalnews.com/us-sanctions/narrow-us-sanctions-turkey-are-primarily-designed-target-russia

Addition: For US CAATSA Sanctions against Turkey https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/ddtc_public?id=ddtc_public_portal_news_and_events

December 15

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Thales will build an R&D center, a logistics hub and recruit nearly 500 people in Cholet, where its activities are growing, particularly in cyber defence. https://www.lesechos.fr/pme-regions/pays-de-la-loire/thales-amplifie-a-cholet-ses-activites-de-guerre-electronique-1273661

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KNDS (Amsterdam = letterbox construction) completes a next step towards integration. 5 years after the merger of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (Munich) and Nexter Systems (Versailles) under the joint holding KNDS, the Group’s governance is being restructured. https://www.edrmagazine.eu/%E2%96%BA-knds-amsterdam-the-netherlands-completes-a-decisive-step-towards-further-integration

***
The Bundeswehr has called for approval for armed combat drones for military use. But the controversial technology has been blocked in the German parliament.
https://www.dw.com/en/no-armed-drones-for-the-german-army-for-now/a-55936615

***
Airbus continues to support Turkish armed forces. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/science-technology/turksat-5a-satellite-set-to-secure-turkeys-orbital-rights-airbus/2075998 Türksat to Improve its services to defence and security Forces with Türksat 5A and Türksat 5B Satellites. https://www.savunmahaber.com/en/turksat-to-improve-its-services-to-defence-and-security-forces-with-turksat-5a-and-turksat-5b-satellites/

***
Federal Republic of Germany is about to make its first major investment in a German defence company. For almost half a billion euros, the takeover of 25.1 percent of the newly listed defence electronics group Hensoldt is planned by the end of the year.
https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article222470840/Ruestungskonzern-Hensoldt-Berlin-plant-Einstieg-fuer-fast-eine-halbe-Milliarde-Euro.html

***
European Parliament and EU Member States on Monday reached an agreement on a € 7.9 billion (US$ 9.5 billion) Europe Defence Fund to support EU common Research and Defence projects in the seven years to come. https://menafn.com/1101280161/EU-agrees-on-79-bln-euro-defence-fund Commission welcomes: https://ec.europa.eu/defence-industry-space/commission-welcomes-political-agreement-european-defence-fund-2020-12-14_en

***
Ukrainian Defence Minister Andriy Taran has signed an agreement with Turkish companies on handing over the technology and manufacturing of corvettes and complexes of drones for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/709919.html

***
Yasar Yakis, a former foreign minister of Turkey and founding member of the ruling AK Party, explains why Angela Merkel involved NATO into the debate surrounding sanctions (included arms sales) against Turkey.
https://www.arabnews.com/node/1776856

***
Even amongst the German Liberals in the Bundestag of the FDP opposition against the the export of Turkish submarines to Turkey is brewing, reports Der Spiegel.
https://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/tuerkei-fdp-aussenpolitiker-bijan-djir-sarai-gegen-u-boot-lieferungen-a-257895d4-7e95-4211-a55b-cb9241b4135b

***
A member of the Bundestag comes in handy to let the flow of German arms exports continue and rushes to help Rheinmetall. "Dear Peter" is informed that the company has not received the expected export license for a certain recipient country.
https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/lobby-briefe-von-parlamentariern-das-politische-engagement-fuer-firmen-gehoert-in-die-oeffentlichkeit/26701274.html

Addition: Same issue in English: Opposition criticizes secret letters to “dear Peter” Altmaier https://pledgetimes.com/opposition-criticizes-secret-letters-to-dear-peter-altmaier/

***
View from Greece on EU Turkey policy: Berlin, Madrid, Rome & Malta, economically linked to Ankara fiercely opposed trade sanctions. But it was France that surprised. Why it not insist on tougher sanctions? Le "double jeu" des Européens face à la Turquie
https://www.courrierinternational.com/une/vu-de-grece-le-double-jeu-des-europeens-face-la-turquie

***
1/.. Turboshaft TS1400 will power a Turkish light transport/utility helicopter built by TEI’s sister company Turkish Aerospace Industries. TEI launched the TS1400 program in March 2017. ../2 https://www.defensenews.com/industry/techwatch/2020/12/14/turkey-to-test-first-indigenous-helicopter-engine/

Addition: The domestic production is also to overcome export hurdles, like in the past to Turkmenistan for the sale of 2 T129 Mk-I ATAK for which the US government gave no permission. https://www.defenceturkey.com/en/content/original-power-system-ts1400-turboshaft-engine-developed-by-tei-s-seasoned-team-of-experts-for-the-t625-helicopter-3546

December 14

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Gatfur. Strijdkrachten van Armenië en Azerbeidzjan hebbe zich schuldig gemaakt aan oorlogsmisdaden tijdens hun laatste oorlog. Door Amnesty geverifieerde videobeelden tonen de onthoofding van gevangenen en het onteren van dode lichamen.
https://www.amnesty-international.be/nieuws/onthoofding-en-andere-oorlogsmisdaden-tijdens-conflict-armenie-azerbeidzjan-moeten-onderzocht-worden

***
As President Macron faces accusations that he's curtailing civic rights and limit transparency, the recent visit of Egyptian ruler al-Sisi underscored France’s longstanding willingness to turn a blind eye to oppression in the countries it sells weapons to. https://www.france24.com/en/france/20201211-france-debates-human-rights-at-home-while-still-selling-weapons-to-oppressive-regimes

***
De staatssecretaris van Economische Zaken en Klimaat, mw. Mona Keijzer, heeft de Tweede Kamer de “Visie op de toekomst van de industrie in Nederland” aangeboden. Voor onder meer de defensie-industrie wordt hiermee een lange-termijn perspectief geschetst.
https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/brieven_regering/detail?id=2020Z20167&did=2020D43344

***
When a major ally, becomes a major nuisance on several fronts. EU leaders plan to discuss arm exports to Turkey with NATO allies and Washington, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, after Greece pushed for an arms embargo on Ankara.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201211-eu-to-discuss-arms-exports-to-turkey-with-nato-and-us-merkel-says/

***
Joe Biden will take command of the White House at a time when the American public is more concerned about battling coronavirus than fighting overseas wars. Here are some suggestions what he can do to make the world a better place for all and change focus.
https://www.malaysiasun.com/news/267248927/biden-under-pressure-to-end-era-of-air-strikes-and-drone-strikes

***
Northrop Grumman won a $73.2 million delivery order for Remote Visual Assessment II production and deployment for the Minutemen III.
https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2443378/

***
News reports from Japan said that Lockheed Martin has been chosen to assist Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) in the development of the F-X fighter. (Accessed with Google translate.)
https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/8ff8f8d79ed0f6621d8b84aeff9bcd40f6c849eb

Addition: Same issue in Forbes: Japan’s Mitsubishi To Deploy $48 Billion F-X Stealth Fighters By 2035 With Boost From Lockheed. https://www.forbes.com/sites/sebastienroblin/2020/12/15/japans-mitsubishi-to-deploy-48-billion-f-x-stealth-fighters-by-2035-with-boost-from-lockheed/?sh=71c4b492036d

***
South Korea was 10th-largest arms exporter in 2015-19, accounting for 2.1% of the world's total defense exports, according to the Global Defense Market Yearbook 2020 published by the Defense Agency for Technology & Quality. UK, Iraq, Indonesia main buyers. https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2020/12/205_300848.html

***
Is the US the UN? Washington has agreed to recognize Morocco's claim over the Western Sahara over which it locked in a dispute with the Algeria-backed Polisario Front. The deal was made public in a series of Tweets by US President Donald Trump yesterday. https://www.defenseworld.net/news/28520#.X9M5J9j0mUk

***
Élysée from bad to worse. Freedom, equality, weaponry; France awards President Sisi of Egypt the Legion d'Honneur as lucrativearms sales appear to trump human rights abuse. https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20201210-macron-gave-sisi-france-s-highest-award-on-paris-visit-official

***
Oxfam said that attacks on civilians In Yemen were on the rise. It urged international community to halt sale of weapons for use in the war. According to CAAT UK has given £1bn in aid to Yemen but has licensed £6.5bn worth of arms to countries bombing it. https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-independent-1029/20201210/281917365660802

***
Flight data suggests ongoing Turkish military air bridge to Libya

The UN maritime mission to halt illegal weapons shipments to Libya have stopped and searched Turkish ships but now it appears Ankara is flying in equipment despite peace talks. https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/flight-data-suggests-ongoing-turkish-military-air-bridge-to-libya-1.1126296

***
There will be disappointment in Athens that the leaders, meeting at a summit in Brussels, did not agree to seek an arms embargo or to target economic sectors. Berlin is a major provider of arms for NATO ally on the Southern flank that partly explains why. https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20201211-eu-opens-path-for-more-sanctions-against-turkey

***
The endless war in Somalia (1990-2020). AFRICOM has conducted slightly fewer airstrikes in Somalia in 2020 than it did in 2019 when the command carried out 63 airstrikes in Somalia, in comparison with the 47 conducted in 2018 and the 35 conducted in 2017 https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/12/10/africom-conducts-50th-airstrike-in-somalia-amid-us-troop-relocation-in-africa/

***

As Mexico’s relentless militarization continues to whet appetites: in the last decade, the United Kingdom increased its arms export licenses and included Mexico in its list of “priority countries for arms exports”. https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2020/12/mexico-eldorado-for-the-death-industry/

***

UAE arms deal: Critics turn to Biden as Senate fails to block $23bn sale US Senate narrowly votes against measure to halt enormous arms deal with Abu Dhabi; activists want Biden to cancel or revise sale https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uae-arms-deal-critics-turn-biden-senate-fails-block-23bn-sale

***
Ottawa urged to set up independent scrutiny of arms exports. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ottawa-urged-to-set-up-independent-scrutiny-of-arms-exports/

December 10

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Tens of billions more will are said to be needed to complete development of the US Next-Generation Air Dominance #NGAD, German/French/Spanish Future Combat Air System #FCAS and UK/Swedish Tempest over the next two decades. https://aviationweek.com/aerospace-defense-2021/defense-space/three-generations-fighters-compete-limited-resources

***
Reiner Braun of the International Network of Engineers & Scientists for Global Responsibility, says he wishes #EDF funds could be used for research into understanding and defending against poverty, climate change, & disease, which can also lead to conflict.
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/12/europe-hopes-new-rd-fund-will-boost-meager-defense-capabilities-and-create

***
Germany should immediately suspend deliveries of submarines to Turkey, more than 50 German and Greek Members of the European Parliament demand of German chancellor Angela Merkel in a joint letter sent on Wednesday. https://eutoday.net/news/security-defence/2020/halt-deliveries-of-german-submarines-to-turkey

***
Countries around the globe are on the hunt for at least 3,033 military aircraft over the next decade, and 50% of the requirements for new equipment are coming from one region—Asia. https://aviationweek.com/aerospace-defense-2021/defense-space/military-aircraft-competitions-worldwide

***
Tweede Kamer wil zo snel en Nederlandsch mogelijk een onderzeeboot. Hiertoe is een motie van de SGP aangenomen die werd ondertekend door de VVD, CDA, ChristenUnie, PVV, PvdA en Groep Van Haga (ruime Kamermeerderheid). Wie niet? #GroenLinks #SP #PvdD #Denk https://www.noordhollandsdagblad.nl/cnt/DMF20201209_8124525

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Germany extended arms export ban on Saudi Arabia by 1 year until the end of 2021 - even tightened it. Permits that have already been granted, which were previously only on hold, will be revoked, excluded supplies for European cooperation projects. https://www.dpa-international.com/topic/german-arms-export-ban-saudi-arabia-extended-one-year-urn%3Anewsml%3Adpa.com%3A20090101%3A201210-99-637185

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Sen. Murphy, D-Conn. (a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee), said the UAE's track record in war-torn Yemen and Libya and its “complicated” relationships with China and Russia raise more questions than answers. https://apnews.com/article/israel-united-arab-emirates-middle-east-bills-mike-pompeo-f6e113dc6ff35d344270da4e900e9f32

***
Jorge Domecq, former chief executive at the European Defence Agency #EDA, started his new job as lobbyist for defence corporation Airbus before having received the required authorisation from the EU. By doing so, Domecq broke EDA staff rules. https://www.ftm.nl/artikelen/former-eu-defense-chief-eu-airbus

***
EU Sanctions website reports CAAT brought a judicial review claim (https://caat.org.uk/news/caat-files-new-judicial-review-application-against-decision-to-renew-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia/
) challenging the Government’s decision in July this year to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia on the basis that any violations of IHL were “isolated incidents.” https://www.europeansanctions.com/2020/12/court-challenge-to-uks-resumed-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia/

***
Retweet @conflictarm
Disrupting diversion by spotting red flags: CAR's 18-month investigation uncovers the global networks, from Hong Kong to the UK, that helped supply Islamic State. https://conflictarm.com/reports/procurement-networks-behind-islamic-state-improvised-weapon-programmes/

***
UK MoD officials have confirmed it will buy more than 48 F-35B combat jets already on order, but they were reluctant to say exactly when and how many aircraft may eventually be involved when they gave evidence to the parliamentary Defence committee Dec 8. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/12/09/british-f-35-buy-is-still-a-moving-target-defense-ministry-tells-lawmakers/

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Airbus prepares for ‘Eurodrone’ contract signing in early 2021. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/12/09/airbus-prepares-for-eurodrone-contract-signing-in-early-2021/

***
Philippine Chairman of Armed Forces Gen. Gapay hinted that Manila has decided to buy F-16s. “Soon ... we will finally have multi-role fighters in the likes of the F-16,” he said. The F-16 is running in the competition together with Swedish Saab’s JAS-39. https://globalnation.inquirer.net/192567/afp-chief-sees-new-fighter-jets-for-ph-military-before-duterte-steps-down

***
Verzekeraars investeren meer dan €5mljrd in bedrijven die wapens leveren aan strijdende partijen in conflictgebieden zoals Jemen. Verreweg de grootste zijn Aegon, Allianz en NN Group. Dat blijkt uit nieuw onderzoek van de Eerlijke Verzekeringswijzer. https://www.amnesty.nl/actueel/aegon-allianz-en-nn-group-investeren-miljarden-in-foute-wapenleveranciers

***
President-elect Biden's selection of Lloyd Austin, general (ret) with close ties to the arms industry, led to an outcry among defence watchers who say he was placed under less scrutiny than Michèle Flournoy, long seen as leading contender for the position. https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/12/09/did-michele-flournoy-face-double-standard-over-defense-industry-ties.html

***
The use of British weaponry or ammunition in the Lekki massacre has not been proven yet, but the UK, has an obligation to stop arms exports to actors that may use them in ways that breach international humanitarian law – like Nigeria. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2020/12/9/this-is-why-the-lekki-massacre-could-happen/

***
Countries supplying the guns that kill Mexico’s journalists. Between 2006-18, European and Israeli companies exported more than 238,000 firearms to Mexico. More than half came from just two companies, Italian Beretta & Austrian Glock. More corp. mentioned. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/09/mexico-cartel-project-weapons-import-trafficking

Addition: See report here (in English and Spanish) https://stopusarmstomexico.org/deadly-trade/

Addition: At least 86 of the 119 journalists killed in Mexico since 2000 have been shot. In ten years, at least 130 FN weapons have been found at crime scenes in Mexico. The FN Five-SeveN pistol, in particular, is popular with the cartels. Belgian Le Soir. https://plus.lesoir.be/342731/article/2020-12-09/projet-cartel-des-armes-de-la-fn-sur-des-scenes-de-crime-au-mexique

***
The Puntland Government is investigating how Al-shabaab managed to conceal weapons in a fishing boat to evade naval patrols at the Gulf of Aden. https://thetaiwantimes.com/al-shabaab-militias-smuggle-small-arms-through-somaliland/7942

December 9

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The Security Service of Ukraine #SBU is conducting an investigation into possible high treason by officials working at the Ukroboronprom state defence concern & the Ukrspetseksport state arms trader, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 7 December, citing SBU. https://ssu.gov.ua/novyny/shchodo-provedennia-obshukiv-v-dk-ukroboronprom-ta-dk-ukrspetseksport

***
Covid and military aviation:

Australian workers embark on new multibillion-dollar fleet F-35 work. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/retrenched-jetstar-workers-recruited-to-work-on-warplanes-20201208-p56lm2.html

France promises no delay in Rafale export to India. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-wont-delay-rafale-delivery-says-french-ambassador-to-india/article33284040.ece

***
@hrw Stop arms sales to Egypt given the record of the Egyptian police in arresting and torturing people, of Egyptian military in committing atrocities in northern Sinai & (alongside Russia and UAE) backing highly abusive forces of Libyan commander Haftar. https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/07/end-europes-backing-egypts-repression

***
President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, participated in a Senate Republican call Tuesday about the planned $23 billion sale of F-35 fighter jets, Reaper drones and munitions to the UAE, according to a Senate aide. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/08/politics/kushner-uae-arms-sale-senate/index.html

***
Germany's protecting hand over Erdogan; France and many other countries in Europe have lost patience with Turkey. They want to decide on tough sanctions. But above all Angela Merkel is putting the brakes on.

Deutschlands schützende Hand über Erdogan. https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/plus222049822/EU-Sanktionen-Deutschlands-schuetzende-Hand-ueber-Erdogan.html

Addition: Turkish President Erdogan trusts that the EU summit cannot agree on sanctions. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/europaeische-union-ende-der-illusionen-1.5141735

***
EDGE, of the UAE is the first Middle Eastern company among the top 25 military suppliers in the world. https://wam.ae/en/details/139530289362 UAE’s arms industry has benefited from offsets & tech transfers, allowing create local production of major arms & components. https://sipri.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/sipriinsight2012_mapping_the_international_presence_of_the_worlds_largest_arms_companies.pdf

***
The Israelis Making Millions Selling Cyberweapons to Latin America. There is no detailing of the purchasing countries, but 4 percent of all Israeli arms exports go to Latin America, amounting to $300 million annually. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/tech-news/.premium-revealed-the-israelis-selling-cyberweapons-to-latin-america-1.9356753

***
India's weapons procurement from the United States jumped from meagre USD 6.2 million to a whopping USD 3.4-billion in the final year of the Donald Trump administration, according to official data. https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-s-weapons-procurement-from-the-us-jumps-to-3-4-billion-in-2020-120120900051_1.html

***
Sanctioned, embargoed, and accused of genocide, Myanmar’s military continues with efforts to acquire equipment made by European companies, as well as Airbus planes from Jordan’s air force, leaked documents show. https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/from-jordanian-planes-to-german-software-myanmars-genocidal-military-stocks-up

***
Tanker arms race between India and Pakistan. France proposed selling 6 MRTT aerial tankers to India in a government-to-government deal that involves converting 2nd-hand Airbus A330 airliners. Pakistan acquiring 4 refuellers from Ukraine & China. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/french-mid-air-refuellers-could-boost-air-force/story-lbpLOIjx1El8VlYwu7o55N.html

December 8

***
Retweet @ArmsTradeCT The Corruption Tracker launch has arrived! We kick off with an introduction to the Tracker and panel by @DemBrinke#CorruptionTracker #DodgyDeals

***
While bicycle spinning for my health I was able to listen to a series of short introduction which gave a clear overview on corruption in the arms trade (estimated to be 40% of all corruption) at the expense of civilians and in the interest of very few. https://trackcorruption.org/

***
French Thales and former president Zuma back in South African court to face charges of fraud, corruption, and racketeering linked to the multi-billion-rand Arms Deal. Thales is accused of paying a bribe to Zuma for protection in any arms deal investigation.https://www.702.co.za/articles/403602/zuma-thales-arms-deal-case-back-in-court-today-matter-likely-to-be-postponed

***
When arms producers cry Covid-tears, show them the 8.5% growth of the 25 largest in their midst in 2019 compared to the previous year. https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/sipriinsight2012_mapping_the_international_presence_of_the_worlds_largest_arms_companies.pdf

***
French MoD Florence Parly signed the letter of intent to create a new fund, the Defense Innovation Fund (FID). It could be endowed with up to 400 million euros, including 200 million financed by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, via upstream studies. https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/innovation-le-fonds-lance-par-florence-parly-devra-faire-ses-preuves-pour-convaincre-864633.html

***
US approved sale of advanced communications equipment worth $280m to Taiwan, in a move likely to irk China.

The arms sale package includes a Field Information Communications System and related equipment, stated US Defense Security Cooperation Agency #DSCA https://www.dsca.mil/press-media/major-arms-sales/taipei-economic-and-cultural-representative-office-united-states-19

***
Students protest Glasgow School of Arts investments “into corrupt industries including the arms trade, ...” which they object to, saying: “the art school ought to be a centre of ecological and moral awareness that not only looks to the future with hope." https://www.scotsman.com/health/coronavirus/glasgow-school-arts-watch-students-peaceful-protest-they-claim-institution-has-been-immoral-and-indefensible-3060567

***
Europe's ally al-Sisis has 60.000 political prisoners behind bars. https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_emmanuel-macron-abordera-le-sujet-du-respect-des-droits-de-l-homme-avec-le-president-egyptien?id=10648054

Despite this Cairo is a favoured destination for weapons delivered by France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. So far for the European values of equality, fraternity and liberty.

***
German MPs and lobbyists are calling for more transparency when parliamentarians at ministries or other authorities advocate the interests of companies. This is particularly relevant when it comes to politically sensitive matters, such as arms trade. https://www.tagesspiegel.de/plus/lieber-peter-bitte-eine-sondergenehmigung-abgeordnete-schickten-60-bittbriefe-an-wirtschaftsministerium/26694866.html

***
A top arms sale official believes it is “possible” to get the UAE on contract to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter before the end of the Trump administration. https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/12/04/official-possible-uae-f-35-deal-can-be-inked-before-trump-administration-ends/

Can the international partners in the F-35 project let their voices be heard?

***
President-elect Biden has reportedly selected Lloyd Austin III, a retired four-star Army general who most recently led the fights in Afghanistan and Iraq, as his nominee for defense secretary. Boardmember of Raytheon, the 4th largest military corporation. https://www.defensenews.com/smr/transition/2020/12/07/report-biden-picks-lloyd-austin-retired-army-general-as-defense-secretary/

***
India says China arming rebels near borders by arming armed movements. China denies. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/india-says-china-arming-rebels-near-borders

***
VENTES D’ARMES : STOP À LA COMPLICITÉ DE LA FRANCE ! Arms trade: STOP the complicity of France! https://www.amnesty.fr/controle-des-armes/petitions/en-ratifiant-le-traite-sur-le-commerce-des-armes-tca

***
According to Jane’s, officials from Indonesia’s defense ministry are in discussions with a consortium led by French shipbuilder Naval Group for a possible order of the Riachuelo (Modified Scorpene)-class submarine. https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/indonesia-in-talks-with-naval-group-for-variant-of-riachuelo-class-submarine

***
De Franse president Emmanuel Macron stelt geen voorwaarden omtrent mensenrechten bij de verkoop van wapens aan het autoritaire regime van Egypte, heeft hij maandag gezegd. https://www.rd.nl/artikel/903291-macron-mensenrechten-ondergeschikt-in-wapenhandel-met-egypte

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Arms exports to Mexico: 2,647 rocket launchers wanted

The German arms factory Dynamit Nobel has exported rocket launchers to Mexico. It is unclear where these ended up and in which hands. https://taz.de/Waffenexporte-nach-Mexiko/!5736474/

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Boris Johnson has promised Brexit means a Global Britain – but plans to cut foreign aid in favour of defence spending is likely to mean the opposite explains Jonathan Fenton-Harvey. https://bylinetimes.com/2020/12/07/misguided-priorities-britain-cuts-foreign-aid-while-boosting-defence-spending/

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As many as 25 private companies – including the Israeli company NSO Group and the Italian firm Hacking Team – have sold surveillance software to Mexican federal and state police forces. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/07/mexico-cartels-drugs-spying-corruption

***
Who said the French are not interested in arms export matters?

France: Petition calls for transparency on arms sales

Petition signed by more than 100,000 people after government plans to bypass parliament over arms sales revealed. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/france-petition-calls-for-transparency-on-arms-sales/2068942

***
The EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell clearly dodged a question on Monday (7 December) over the possibility to impose an EU arms embargo on Turkey as a means to convince Ankara to de-escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-top-diplomat-keeps-mum-over-turkey-arms-embargo/

December 7

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German government approves delivery to Qatar 15 "Gepard" type anti-aircraft tanks + four automatic cannons, 30 35-millimeter tubes, 45 closures and 16,000 cartridges of ammunition to Qatar for a total of 31.4 million euros.
https://www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de/politik/bundesregierung-genehmigt-panzer-lieferung-an-katar-art-689562

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Civil military Paris Air Show airshow 2021 at Le Bourget cancelled. https://aviationweek.com/air-transport/aircraft-propulsion/organizers-cancel-paris-air-show-2021-covid-19-uncertainty

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How the arms industry will be represented in the Biden Administration.
https://www.heise.de/tp/features/So-werden-Joe-Bidens-Mitarbeiter-von-der-Ruestungsindustrie-gesteuert-4960362.html

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The Spanish Ministry of Defense will buy at least 12 Euromale drones, a system developed by Airbus, Dassault and Leonardo for Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
https://www.infodefensa.com/es/2020/12/01/noticia-espana-comprara-drones-euromale.html

***
French policy on Egypt protested. According to rights defenders, with €1.4bn in 2017, France is ahead of the US in arms sales to Egypt. They recommend that aid to Egypt made conditional on human rights.

A demonstration is scheduled for Tuesday at 6 pm. https://www.dna.fr/politique/2020/12/06/les-defenseurs-des-droits-denoncent-le-tapis-rouge-au-president-egyptien-sissi

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It was Chancellor Merkel on the brakes to prevent an arms embargo to Turkey, but after several failed attempts to settle the conflict in the Mediterranean now even the Chancellor isn't ruling out sanctions. https://www.pressreader.com/luxembourg/luxemburger-wort/20201207/281599538074826

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Authorities continue to turn a blind eye when licensing Mexican arms deals. Dynamit Nobel Defense exported numerous rocket launchers to Mexico, while there is a great risk that they will fall into the wrong hands and be used in human rights violations. https://taz.de/Erneut-illegale-Waffen-nach-Mexiko-geliefert/!5736474/

Addition: "Project Cartel", new investigation into the Mexican drug cartels into European clandestine methamphetamine laboratories; cyber espionage; and the sale of weapons to Mexican states known for their collusion with criminal groups. https://www.lesoir.be/341579/article/2020-12-03/le-projet-cartel-la-nouvelle-enquete-sur-les-cartels-mexicains-de-la-drogue

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Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told WELT: "If we want to help the UN arms embargo [on Libya] to break through, the EU should not only control arms transports by sea, but also keep an eye on air and land routes." https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article221917902/Libyen-Europas-neuer-Fluechtlingsdeal.html

***
De 25 grootste wapenproducenten zagen hun omzet het voorbije jaar opnieuw met 8,5% stijgen, zo blijkt uit het nieuwste rapport van het Sipri, een onafhankelijk instituut gevestigd in Zweden. Eén land leidt met een ruime voorsprong: de Verenigde Staten. https://www.knack.be/nieuws/wereld/omzet-wapenverkoop-met-8-5-procent-gestegen-vs-blijven-topverkoper-sipri/article-news-1673955.html

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Retweet @SIPRIorg Military manufacturing capabilities are concentrated in North America, Western Europe and Australia. Together, these regions account for 80% of the 15 largest arms companies’ foreign entities involved in manufacturing.

December 6

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French MoD Parly shakes hands with notorious counterpart in Indonesia. Negotiations between France and Indonesia are progressing very well on the sale of 48 Rafale to the Indonesian Air Force, French publication; La Tribune reported quoting its sources. https://www.defenseworld.net/news/28461/Indonesia__France_Close_to_Agreement_on_48_Rafale_jet_Deal__Reports

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During the Egyptian president's visit to France early next week, the Egyptians could announce an agreement to purchase a spy satellite from Airbus Defense & Space valued +/- €600 million. [ in French] http://latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/l-egypte-pourrait-tres-vite-commander-un-satellite-espion-made-in-france-a-airbus-864340.html

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Despite peace negotiations in the civil war stricken country and despite an arms embargo: Turkey has increased the frequency of flights with Airbus A400M delivered military freighters to Libya. [in German] https://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/tuerkei-fliegt-mit-airbus-a400m-zu-militaerbasis-in-libyen-9511944.html

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A loophole in export legislation is allowing Flemish companies to export parts for aircraft involved in conflict in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, De Morgen reports. "It is time to close this loophole in the legislation”, Bram Vranken of Vredesactie said. https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/business/143995/belgian-companies-circumvent-arms-embargo-to-turkey/

December 5

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Turkish CHP lawmaker Ali Mahir Başarır criticied the government over the privatization of a national tank factory and the sale of it to Qatar (transfer of the rights to operate Turkey’s national tank factory to the BMC Turkish-Qatari venture for 25 years).
https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/mhp-leader-joins-criticisms-against-chp-lawmakers-comment-on-turkish-army-160507

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Turkish drone the Bayraktar TB2 is seen where Ankara's geopolitical ambitions are most acutely manifested: Syria, Iraq, Libya and Karabakh. They have been shot down everywhere, but the losses of UAVs are perceived less brightly than their successes.
https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/unmanned-aerial-vehicles-over-nagorno-karabakh/

***
For the supply of critical Rare Earth Elements #REEs required by the defence industry and for electronics, Washington is working on plans to reduce the dependence on China for its supply; there's a growing cooperation between Canada and USA.
https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/69440/Appia-Reports-on-Significant-Price-Increases-in-Rare-Earth-Oxides-as-China-Announces-New-Export-Control-Law

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"How to fight back against Beijing." The word fight luckily is only used in the heading and not in the text. But is the world running towards a new major conflict without seeing the catastrophic dangers?
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/exclusives/let-us-navy-make-itself-at-home/news-story/ae8c7dffcb72a546c85204f98196ab61

***
Josep Borrell is "convinced that the future of the European defence will start from the European defence industry", he told an audience of 800, from the armed forces, governments, etc.

But how much of the EU defence budgets are however spend in the US? https://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2020/12/05/mil-osi-europe-european-defence-agency-remarks-by-the-high-representative-vice-president-josep-borrell-at-the-annual-virtual-conference/

***
The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency has begun monitoring encryption capabilities that could protect defense communications from powerful quantum computers, a top technology official said Thursday.
https://www.c4isrnet.com/show-reporter/disa-forecast-industry/2020/12/03/disa-starts-to-monitor-quantum-resistant-encryption-capabilities/

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Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif points out that arms sales and financial support to Egypt "must be bolstering the current regime." Remember this when you talk human rights in Berlin, Londen, Paris, Rome and The Hague and give arms export licenses to Cairo.

https://www.ft.com/content/75fd7538-33a9-4418-8409-65c832976dd7

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Babcock International Group PLC, an arms manufacturer listed on the FTSE 250 with a turnover in 2020 of £4.9bn. The arms company, is also one of just twelve accredited education service providers in the UK. It should be kicked out of the classroom. https://diem25.org/its-time-for-arms-companies-kicked-out-the-classroom/

***
United States arms exports (including both government-managed and commercial) rose 2.8 percent from $170.09 billion in 2019 to $175.08 billion in fiscal 2020, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced Friday. https://www.defenseworld.net/news/28470/United_States____Arms_Exports_Totaled__175_08_billion_in_2020__up_2_8__Over_2019#.X8tGitj0mUk

December 4

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Al een kwart van de Nederlanders tegen meer geld naar Defensie. Zal wel snel meer worden als de gevolgen van de corona pandemie duidelijker voelbaar worden. https://magazines.defensie.nl/defensiekrant/2020/48/02_clingendeal_48

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THE British government kept weapons supplies flowing to Saudi Arabia last year despite an arms embargo, according to an official report on export controls. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/warplane-spare-parts-sold-to-saudis-despite-export-ban

***
German government extends export ban on military equipment for Saudi Arabia until the end of 2021. Older licences will be revoked. For joint projects with partner countries there may be licences, one counts on "consultations".

***
Text with retweet:

What's the reason this story has to repeated again & again? Are there other urgent needs for society to be solved, a failing health care system, climate change & poverty?

By the way: effects of military spending can be seen not far from home in the MENA-region. Not helpful.

Tweet: @EUDefenceAgency We have to avoid the drastic decline in defence investment which we experienced following the 2008 financial crisis which took more than 10 years to be resolved. @ThierryBreton #EDAconf20

***
Moroccan Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reports that the country will take delivery of the first G550 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance #ISR aircraft. The 1st of 4 ordered with Raytheon. The jet is equipped with an Israeli-American made ISR system. https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/102366/morocco-receive-gulfstream-g-550-plane.html

December 3

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Interesting webinar seen at YouTube with powerful speeches on military spending, how to aim for lowering them & struggle for a more peaceful world. This to prevent the major catastrophes of the past and making it a better place for all and not only the 1%. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6UgOiU6vO8&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=GCOMS-GlobalCampaignOnMilitarySpending

***

Retweet @FrankSlijper S. Korea to deploy suicide UAVs. https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20201202003300325

***
Greek MoD, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, visits Egypt from December 3rd, until December 5th. In the mean time a teleconference with the European Defence Agency and ending with "Medusa 10" military exercise with forces from Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, France and UAE. https://www.parapolitika.gr/politiki/article/1078116/episimi-episkepsi-tha-pragmatopoiisei-o-nikos-panagiotopoulos-tin-pebti-stin-aigupto/

***
UN ENVOY SAYS 20,000 FOREIGN FORCES IN LIBYA Libya has been wracked by violence and chaos since the toppling and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. https://ewn.co.za/2020/12/03/un-envoy-says-20-000-foreign-forces-in-libya

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Mali at the arms bazaar. C295 is becoming the standard 21st century tactical transport aircraft in Africa, with 37 aircraft on order in the region, from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana to Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso & Mali, Bernhard Brenner of Airbus Defence said. https://www.boursier.com/actions/actualites/news/airbus-group-le-mali-commande-un-avion-de-transport-militaire-c295-837224.html

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Despite rejection last Sundays Switzerland without an Army #GSsA considers referendum on investment in arms industry a first success: “Our initiative has prompted several pension funds to divest from weapons." It raised awareness on investments in arms. http://lirelactu.fr/source/challenges/8b0f1508-7567-42c7-bece-24fe51404643

***
Sleep peacefully, Thales watches over your data! The military tech giant wants to become the French reference to protect systems of those in need. Thales already sends some of its cybersecurity engineers to the cybercampus which will open at La Défense.
http://lirelactu.fr/source/challenges/dc27eb5a-874e-4826-91b0-588374a6d234

***
Retweet @rachelstohl Kazakhstan is reportedly looking to acquire dozens of Turkish drones following their performance in the Nagorno-Karabakh war, a move that would further accelerate dangerous proliferation of armed drones. Via @DefensePost. https://thedefensepost.com/2020/12/02/kazakhstan-keen-bayraktar-tb2-drones/

***
US Ambassador to Greece: "The US, at the highest levels, has welcomed Greece’s interest in acquiring the F-35 for the Hellenic Air Force. We have signaled our support for procurement and are working closely together on a future acquisition program." https://gr.usembassy.gov/statement-by-u-s-ambassador-to-greece-geoffrey-r-pyatt-on-f-35-acquisition/

December 2

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Outgoing US admin cleared 6 Foreign Military Sales cases, potentially worth a total of $1.55 billion. Clearances were on South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Croatia, Lebanon and Canada and announced on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
https://www.defensenews.com/global/mideast-africa/2020/12/01/us-clears-weapon-sales-for-saudi-arabia-lebanon-croatia-canada-brazil-and-south-korea/

***
The US should halt proposed weapons sales to the UAE, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. It should suspend all future sales until the UAE curtails unlawful airstrikes in Yemen and Libya, halts support and weapons transfers to abusive local forces and c...
https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/01/united-states-embargo-arms-united-arab-emirates

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Starting tomorow: EDA conference Sustaining European defence. Annoucement states: "The work of Europe’s armed forces throughout the pandemic has been lauded by our citizens, but it has equally highlighted key capabilities and investment in European defence." #NoArms_ButHealthcare

Url:
https://europa.eu/newsroom/events/eda-annual-conference-2020-sustaining-european-defence_en

The pandemic highlighted key capabilities and investment in European health care. Many EU countries have not enough IC-capacity e.g.

***
Retweet @CTWnl Wapenbedrijf Thales mag voor €195 miljoen vuurleidingsapparatuur leveren aan Egypte, Indonesië en Pakistan. Zolang niet wordt erkend dat wapenleveranties onderdrukkende regimes in het zadel houden laat Nederland mensenrechtenactivisten in de steek. https://joop.bnnvara.nl/opinies/nederland-bewapent-autoritaire-regimes

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The Defense Department’s inspector general found that the United Arab Emirates is financing Russian Wagner Group mercenaries—just as Trump aims to sell the UAE billions of dollars worth of arms.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/11/30/pentagon-trump-russia-libya-uae/

Addition: Pentagon accuses UAE of funding Russian mercenaries in Libya https://www.libyanexpress.com/pentagon-again-accuses-uae-of-sending-russian-mercenaries-to-libya/

December 2

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Indonesia, France discuss military cooperation

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/162449/indonesia-france-discuss-military-cooperation

Sign ETAN's petition to free West Papua political prisoners here: https://bit.ly/2UBEGnL

***
Almost half of Russian arms exports go to Africa. Most of the high-level business agreements between Zimbabwe or Mozambique and Russia are premised on state access to mineral assets. Russia offers, among others, military equipment and political support. https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/main/the-west-irked-by-russias-dealings-with-zimbabwe-and-mozambique/

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European support? Egypt tops the chart for German arms exports in 2020, €586m. Contracts are being negotiated with Italy of about $9.8bn.

Although my friend Gasser in his cold prison cell appears very small in comparison, he is in fact a towering figure. https://en.qantara.de/content/arrest-of-eipr-human-rights-activists-in-egypt-my-friend-gasser-abdel-razek-the-terrorist

***
The Walloon Region has seen arms exports almost triple in 2019. Proceedings brought by a number of human rights and peace organizations before the Council of State reduced those exports in 2020. On exports to Saudi's, Canada. https://www.world-today-news.com/peace-organizations-will-restrict-walloon-arms-exports-in-2020/

See in the original Dutch retweet @Vredesactie: Vredesorganisaties leggen Waalse wapenexport in 2020 aan banden

https://www.tijd.be/politiek-economie/belgie/wallonie/vredesorganisaties-leggen-waalse-wapenexport-in-2020-aan-banden/10268718.html

December 1

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Grünen chairwoman Annalena Bärbock praised the role of NATO in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", called for a stronger joint European commitment in defense policy and agreed to talk about higher spending on the Bundeswehr. The 2% of GDP is still a bridge to far.
https://www.zeit.de/news/2020-11/30/baerbock-zur-bundeswehr-wir-duerfen-uns-nicht-wegducken

***
A look back into Czech-Israeli arms trade in January 1948. The Israelis obtained some 400 tons of mortars and other heavy machinery, aerial bombs, rifles, ammunition, machine guns, flamethrowers, explosives, tanks, and combat vehicles.
https://www.jpost.com/international/the-czech-arms-that-saved-israel-650710

***
Greek FM Nikos Dendias sent letters to his counterparts in Germany, Spain and Italy pointing out the need to impose an arms embargo against Turkey.

Especially for Spain and Italy, the reasons behind blocking an arms embargo are not a coincidence. https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/bullmann-eu-needs-open-channel-with-turkey-no-wrong-compromises-with-erdogan/

***
Amnesty International Urges UN to Renew South Sudan Arms Embargo https://www.voanews.com/africa/south-sudan-focus/amnesty-international-urges-un-renew-south-sudan-arms-embargo

***
NHIndustries and NAHEMA signed a contract for sale of 31 NH90 helicopters for shipborne operations. The contract brings the total order book to 597 rotorcraft. "The contract also means the continuation of hundreds of high skilled jobs in the Netherlands." https://www.aviation-defence-universe.com/nh90-helicopter-sale-to-germany-strengthens-gkn-aerospaces-defence-portfolio/

***

Feminist perspectives are gaining strength in foreign and security policy. This leads to new questions for the politically contested field of arms transfers. Gender-based violence can be exacerbated through the transfer of weaponry (mainly small arms). https://www.boell.de/en/2020/11/30/international-arms-trade-feminist-issue-and-what-germany-can-do-about-it

***
Turning to baking and cookery contests for arms and military propaganda may backfire. #masterchef #HHB

BAKE Off star Nadiya Hussain pulled out of a careers event at the weekend after young activists highlighted its links to the arms trade. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/bake-off-star-quits-event-sponsored-by-arms-firm

***
Some analysts suggest that the UK government could attempt to package its lucrative arms dealings with the Gulf states into an agreement, even with weapons sales to Saudi Arabia the subject of a continuing legal battle focused on allegations of war crimes.
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/brexit-uk-gulf-free-trade-deal-seal

***
EU has satellite images as evidence on the Turkish vessel involvement in breaching the arms embargo on Libya. EU-Irini analysts had previously spotted military aircraft being unloaded in Misrata at satellite images, according to Der Spiegel reported. https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/2653471/new-sanctions-turkey-violating-libya-arms-embargo

Addition: Satellitenaufnahmen deuten auf Waffenschmuggel auf türkischem Frachter hin. Im Streit um die Bundeswehrinspektion des türkischen Frachters »Roseline A« erhärtet sich der Verdacht auf Waffenschmuggel. https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/tuerkei-in-libyen-konflikt-satellitenaufnahmen-deuten-auf-waffenschmuggel-auf-frachter-hin-a-00000000-0002-0001-0000-000174211418

***

One question is why Egypt rolls its muscles at sea (defend economic interests, show its force to Ankara and deepen its ties with authoritarian allies). The other is why so many European states (GE, FR, IT, NL) sell the notorious country naval armaments. https://www.defensenews.com/training-sim/2020/11/30/why-is-egypt-intensifying-its-military-drills/

***

The European Defence Agency has completed its first-ever deep dive into member nations’ defense plans, recommending that the bloc invest in six capabilities, including weaponry for fighting aerial drones. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/11/30/european-unions-defense-arm-urges-work-on-common-counter-drone-weapon/

Addition: The finding is wrapped up in the agency’s “Coordinated Annual Review on Defence” submitted to defense ministers Nov. 20. https://www.edrmagazine.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/EDA-CARD-2020-factsheet.pdf

***
Two weeks ago Seoul was mentioned as escape route for Turkey (https://twitter.com/martinbroek/status/1329673189119627265) now South Korea turns to Germany for tank tansmission system.

South Korea’s K2 tank export plans suffer under transmission failure. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/techwatch/2020/11/30/south-koreas-k2-tank-export-plans-suffer-under-transmission-failure/

***
The Philippine Navy formally received an Insitu Inc ScanEagle 2 drone from the US during a “turnover, acceptance and blessing ceremony” held at the Naval Base Heracleo Alano in the Philippine city of Cavite near Manila on November 25. https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1060178