China Deploys WZ-10 Tank Killer Helicopters to Counter India

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has revealed the deployment of the tank killing WZ-10 attack helicopter, the rough equivalent of the U.S. Bell AH-1 SuperCobra, to its Western Theater Command that includes China’s border with India.

India last June said it had reinforced Indian Army units defending its border with China in the tense Ladakh region with more tanks, troops and armored fighting vehicles amid an ongoing Chinese military build-up.

The Indian Army deployed some 100 specially modified Russian-made T-72 main battle tanks along its mountainous frontline border in Ladakh, a key geostrategic region located along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. LAC is a demarcation line separating Indian-held territory from Chinese-controlled territory.

This is only the second time in half a century India has deployed tanks to this region, a signal of the unease China’s unceasing military build-up over the past few years is causing in Delhi.

The armored regiment to which the newly deployed troops and tanks belong will raise to a full brigade the Indian Army units in the region. Two infantry regiments are already in place.

PLA said an undetermined number of WZ-10s (also called the CAIC Z-10) were delivered to the Air Defense Brigade of the PLA 13th Group Army under the Western Theater Command. This command is part of the Chengdu Military Region that encompasses the Xizang/Tibet Autonomous Region, Chongqing, Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou.

Read more: Yibada

China Is Supporting Syria’s Regime. What Changed?

On August 14, Guan Youfei, a rear admiral in China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, visited the Syrian capital of Damascus, escorted around the city under heavy guard. Guan’s visit reportedly included meetings with senior military officials and Russian officers, as well as pledges that the Chinese military would provide medical training for Syrian medical staff. The question is why China is increasing this engagement now.

Admiral Guan’s engagement contrasts with previous Chinese behavior during the Syrian crisis. While China has been one of the few powers to maintain an embassy in Damascus throughout the current crisis, Beijing’s engagements have been fairly limited, and mostly focused on attempts from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to insert itself into peace negotiations and occasional expressions of concern around individual nationals who appear on the battlefield (either as hostages or fighters). The approach has been driven by a mix of motives, including Beijing’s long-standing principle of “non-interference,” aversion to what China sees as largely Western-led regime change in the guise of humanitarian intervention and a Chinese desire to insulate its growing economic interests in the Middle East from the continuing consequences of the Arab Spring.

That dynamic may now be about to change. China has started to become a participant in the many international discussions around countering terrorism, and ISIS in particular. China has participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum and hosted sessions about terrorists’ use of the internet, while engaging in discussions at home about contributing more to the fight against ISIS. Last year, a decision was made to alter national legislation to allow Chinese security forces to deploy abroad as part of a counterterrorism effort, and China has sought to establish overseas bases in Djibouti. In neighboring Afghanistan, it has established a new sub-regional alliance between Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and China to discuss and coordinate the fight against militancy and terrorist groups in the area. All these actions highlight the degree to which China is slowly pushing its security apparatus out into the world in a more aggressive posture than before. Seen within this light, Admiral Guan’s visit to Damascus is another piece in this puzzle, and the most ambitious yet in many ways for a power that has historically preferred to play a more standoffish role in addressing hard military questions.

Read More: National Interest

U.S. withdraws intelligence staff from Saudi Arabia dedicated to Yemen planning

The U.S. military has withdrawn from Saudi Arabia its personnel who were coordinating with the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen, and sharply reduced the number of staff elsewhere who were assisting in that planning, U.S. officials told Reuters.

Fewer than five U.S. service people are now assigned full-time to the “Joint Combined Planning Cell,” which was established last year to coordinate U.S. support, including air-to-air refueling of coalition jets and limited intelligence-sharing, Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey, a U.S. Navy spokesman in Bahrain, told Reuters.

That is down from a peak of about 45 staff members who were dedicated to the effort full-time in Riyadh and elsewhere, he said.

Read more: Reuters

 

India’s Intel War in Afghanistan

Any intelligent state that wants to prevent its system from decaying needs statecraft, which is comprised on economic power, professional intelligence, strong military and mature diplomacy. The case is quite different in India where emerging contradictions in the state system, and the failure of intelligence and internal security strategies generated a countrywide debate in which experts deeply criticised the waste of financial resources by the Indian intelligence agencies in an unnecessary proxy war against Pakistan. India is spending huge amount of money on its secret agencies to make them competent and professional, but the lack of authentic information, trained manpower, intelligence sharing on law enforcement level, and between centre and provinces, and political involvement, vanish all sincere efforts.

The Kargil and Pathankot attacks were intelligence failure because the RAW’s recruitment procedure was deeply odd that could not spotlight ISI’s intelligence units’ activities in parts of the region. The ooze remains. Intelligence reforms have become the most controversial issue as reform committees are under pressure from political parties to procrastinate the reforms process. In fact, the challenges India faces to control its intelligence agencies, and introduce security sector reforms have become more complicated when stakeholders refused to change the culture of spying on their own people.

In fact, there is little public awareness in India about the intelligence operations of RAW, IB and military intelligence along with Pakistan’s borders in Afghanistan and Kashmir, which caused unnecessary confrontations between the three neighbours. India is fully involved in Afghanistan. From military planning to intelligence operations, and foreign policy issues, the country interfere in every legal and political issue of the state. Afghan policy makers perceive such interference of the Indian government in a failed state like Afghanistan, and its proxy war against its traditional enemy, against the interest of the country.

The reaction to the RAW and NDS clandestine operations are too irksome for the Afghan population when Pakistan translates its inner pain into military, trade and economic action. However the extension of its intelligence operations over a large area across the country raises many questions including the large scale recruitment of young men and women in its secret training camps. Moreover, India has changed the interface of relationship from all Afghan nations to a specific mafia groups in Northern parts of the country, which causes ethnic conflagration. The country’s approach towards the Afghan nation has largely been a function of the desire to undermine the political and military influence of Pakistan, China and Iran. In view of the exponentially growing Taliban and ISIS military power in Afghanistan, Washington also showed propensity to use the services of Indian satellite in Afghanistan to get quicker weather information, crucial for the transportation of its military assets.

Two years after the establishment of its own spy agency (RAMA) in Afghanistan, India signed agreement on Strategic Partnership with the Karzai administration in October 2011….

Read more: SI Guardian

US Special Ops Training in Latin America Tripled, Docs Reveal

U.S. Special Operations Forces training missions to Latin America tripled between 2007 and 2014, newly obtained documents by a human rights advocacy organization reveal, offering further evidence that it is “the golden age” of secret operations by these elite fighters.

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) says the uptick happened during “a period when overall military aid to the region was decreasing” and as overall transparency about these forces, which include the Green Berets, the Navy SEALs, and Rangers, is waning.

Many of the missions these forces took part in, WOLA’s Sarah Kinosian and Adam Isacson explain, were trainings called Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET). While 12 JCETs trained 560 foreign personnel in 2007, the number zoomed up to 36 JCETs training 2,300 personnel in 2014.

Kinosian and Isacson write:

JCETs do more than train U.S. forces. They teach Latin American co-participants military tactics while also “gaining regional access with a minimal footprint,” according to the documents. The reports highlight that “[JCET] activities often enhance U.S. influence in host countries.”

Read more: Common Dreams

AFRICOM: US aircraft have carried out more than 140 strikes in libya

US aircraft have carried out more than 140 strikes on Islamic State targets in Libya since 1 August, according to data released by US Africa Command (AFRICOM).

AFRICOM’s Stuttgart-based headquarters said US forces had carried out 143 airstrikes against Islamic State forces in the coastal city of Sirte at the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) up until 9 September. It said the three most recent attacks had taken place on 11 September, with four strikes destroying nine fighting positions

Read more: IHS Janes 360

U.S. Special Operations forces begin new role alongside Turkish troops in Syria

U.S. Special Operations forces have begun partnering with Turkish troops and a contingent of Syrian opposition groups for a new operation in northern Syria, defense officials said Friday.

The move comes just weeks after Turkey launched a blitz operation over the Turkish border, seizing the northern city of Jarabulus and injecting a new dynamic into the five-year-old conflict.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement that the contingent of Special Operations forces assisting the Turkish and Syrian forces around the cities of Jarabulus and Al-Rai was sent at the request of the Turkish government.

Read More : Washington Post

New fighting erupts over Libya oil ports

New fighting erupted early Sunday between forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed unity government and those of a rival administration for control of key eastern oil ports.

“The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) launched an offensive this morning and (our forces) are fighting them in Ras Lanuf,” said Mohamad Ibset, spokesman for the rival force commanded by controversial Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar which seized the four oil ports last week.

The PFG, which is loyal to the unity government based in Tripoli, said it had launched counterattacks on two of the oil ports.

“We attacked Al-Sidra and Ras Lanuf, and Haftar’s forces are trying to hit us with their warplanes,” spokesman Ali al-Hassi told AFP.

The loss of the ports was a blow to the Government of National Accord (GNA), which relies on oil revenues and has struggled to assert its authority since setting up base in the capital in March.

Haftar, who sees himself as Libya’s saviour after driving jihadists out of most of the country’s second city, Benghazi, is the most powerful backer of the rival administration in the east.

It announced on Wednesday that it would hand control of exports from the four ports to Libya’s National Oil Company, albeit under the supervision of Haftar’s forces.

Read More : Al arabiya

NATO’s Baltic Deterrent Force to Be in Place by May 2017

The new allied deterrent force for the Baltic region will be in place by May 2017, with some units arriving earlier, the head of the Western alliance’s military committee said Sunday.

Military leaders from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, gathering in Split, Croatia, this weekend, discussed the deployment of the force of up to 4,000 personnel, its rules of engagement, and its command and control.

Czech Army Gen. Petr Pavel, who leads the NATO military committee, said the battle groups will be arriving at different times in the first half of 2017. The U.S. force, of about 1,000 soldiers, will come from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment based in Vilseck, Germany, and is due to arrive in Poland by April, U.S. officials said.

Read More:WSJ

Submarines surface as key weapon in world’s navies — especially in Asia

Gliding stealthily through the ocean depths, attack submarines quietly shadow their quarry, ready to strike with torpedoes or missiles.

Somewhat neglected after the Cold War, they are now making a serious comeback around the world.

Militaries in Asia, Russia and the United States are aggressively stepping up the development, acquisition and deployment of the undersea craft.

That’s because they have realized that even the best surface vessels and warplanes are vulnerable to anti-ship or anti-aircraft missiles, says Bryan Clark of Washington’s Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an independent think tank.

“So they are shifting to more undersea capabilities to do some of the offensive operations that they want to carry out,” he said.

Nowhere is the trend more marked than in Asia, prompted by China’s rapidly expanding military might.

Beijing has established a range of maritime defense capabilities and highly sophisticated anti-aircraft systems that prevent enemy vessels from nearing its coast.

China has also worked hard to build a fleet of attack submarines, and now boasts 50 diesel and five nuclear attack subs.

Australia signed a contract this year to buy 12 submarines, nonnuclear versions of the French Barracuda attack vessel.

Vietnam has taken delivery of the fifth of six submarines it bought from Russia. Japan is expected to increase its fleet from 18 to 22 diesel subs by 2018. And India, Indonesia and Malaysia are all developing their own underwater capabilities.

The U.S. Navy is paying close attention — and looking at its own fleet.

Read More : Japan Times

Former head of DGSE confirmed French campaigns against internat’l targets

France’s former head of external intelligence service this summer confirmed a French cyber campaign that targeted Iran, Canada, Spain, Greece, Norway, and other nations.

The incidents had been widely reported but were never confirmed by French officials, that is until Bernard Barbier, former head of the French General Board of External Security (DGSE), spoke at French engineering university CentraleSupélec and his recorded comments posted on YouTube and later published in the French newspaper Le Monde.

Barbier also told students at the event that he discovered the NSA had probed computers at the Elysée Palace, the official residence of the French president. He also discussed the surveillance malware ‘Babar.

Read More : SCMAG