IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Jul 15, 2021

A Taliban spokesman has said that the Islamic insurgency retaking Afghanistan sees China as a “welcome friend” despite its treatment of its Uigher Muslim minority. “We care about the oppression of Muslims, the spokesman said. “What we are not going to do is interfere in China's internal affairs.” Meanwhile, the Chinese foreign ministry has confirmed talks with Pakistan about extending the two countries’ economic corridor to Afghanistan.

Jul 15, 2021

U.S. COVID-19 infection rates have more than doubled in the past two weeks with the advent of the Delta variant. Coupled with stalled vaccination rates, it could justify keeping the Canadian border closed to most visitors after July 21 despite pressure from several business sectors. With a week to go, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reiterated that the government remains “cautious” about reopening the border.

Jul 14, 2021

An Ontario teenager is worried that a prank involving a $6.49 Nerf gun could hinder his chances of a Canadian Armed Forces career. He and a friend were arrested and charged with assault with a weapon and criminal harassment after they had driven around a nearby community, firing rubber darts at residents.

Jul 14, 2021

Canada's Department of National Defence is taking steps to "green" defence infrastructure and reduce its carbon footprint while providing military personnel with sustainable and efficient facilities in which to work and train.

Jul 14, 2021

A supersonic anti-radiation missile for Turkey’s planned TF-X fighter has been developed by state-controlled Roketsan. Details remain secret but the Akbaaba (Vulture) was listed on a Turkish Air Force briefing on the TF-X and a Roketsan official is quoted as saying that the new weapon will replace Raytheon Technologies AGM-88 HARMs for attacks on radar-equipped air defence systems.

Jul 14, 2021

U.S. has reaffirmed its 1951 commitment to defend the Philippines’ armed forces, public vessels or aircraft assets against any third-party attacks. The announcement comes as tensions remain high in the South China Sea region where China has expanded militarily in the face of counterclaims by several other nations.

Jul 14, 2021

Claims by China that it “drove away” and U.S. destroyer from a contested area in the South China Sea have been dismissed as “false.” The U.S. says its vessel was performing the latest in a series a “freedom of navigation” operations July 12 near the Paracel Islands, a territory China has claimed despite an international court ruling that its claims are illegitimate.

Jul 14, 2021

President Joe Biden has signed off on an executive order his administration says is aimed at “promoting competition” in the U.S. economy by curbing “the trend of corporate consolidation.” It calls on the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law “vigorously” and for agencies to “challenge prior bad mergers.”

Jul 13, 2021

The pace of science and technology breakthroughs are so dramatically redesigning the global security outlook that an Australian think-tank is urging the country’s military, defence industry and universities to pool their resources. It envisages the equivalent of the U.S., Defence Applied Research Projects Agency, calling it “a significant opportunity” to cooperation within the Five Eyes nations.

Jul 13, 2021

Twenty-two members of an Afghan special forces unit who ran out of ammunition during a firefight with the Taliban were gunned down by the insurgents immediately after surrendering. The killings occurred June 16 but have only recently surfaced in a video.

Jul 12, 2021

The lawyer for a Canadian soldier accused of feeding marijuana-laced cupcakes to her colleagues during a live-fire exercise two years ago, says critical evidence has been lost due to incompetence. With Bombardier Chelsea Cogswell’s court martial set to begin in August, her lawyer says DND should toss out evidence of traces found on one cupcake wrapper because the others were lost and never tested.

Jul 12, 2021

University researchers seeking federal government grants are now required to complete a security risk assessment and work with national security agencies and the federal government in a bid to prevent foreign interests from acquiring Canadian intellectual property. The decision, initially applicable to the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council but expected to be broadened, was announced today by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

Jul 12, 2021

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing, in that order, topped the ranks of 100 defence suppliers in 2020 as the sector’s global revenues rose for the fifth consecutive year. Their combined revenues totalled the equivalent of US$551 billion, up five per cent from 2019. Three Chinese corporations were also in the top 10.

Jul 12, 2021

Canadian Armed Forces' Veterans who fought in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province for the better part of five years are reacting to the resurgence of the Taliban with shock, numbness and resignation.

Jul 12, 2021

Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces’ combat mission in Afghanistan have taken to social media to share their reaction to the latest developments there. Among them is retired Cpl Matthew Luloff, now an Ottawa city councillor. “It seems quite bleak when you're seeing images of areas that we used to have firm control of just being turned over,” he says. “To see the Taliban on top of places like Sperwan Ghar and Masum Ghar, I just find it heartbreaking.”

Jul 09, 2021

The Department of National Defence expects further delays and more cost increases in its Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships program. DND documents indicate the sixth AOPS is due for July 2025 delivery, 16 months later than original expected. In addition, “a significant portion of contingency funds will be required.”

Jul 09, 2021

A 13-member U.S. Marine Corps diplomatic protection unit has been sent to the embassy in Eswatini, the small southern African country previously called Swaziland. They were deployed as government security forces cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators in increasingly violent confrontations.

Jul 09, 2021

President Joe Biden said July 8 that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan will end Aug. 31 and that it will be up to the country’s citizens to decide their future. “I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome,” he said. “No nation has ever unified Afghanistan.”

Jul 09, 2021

The Italian aerospace giant, Leonardo, has been hired by Pakistan to convert three Brazilian-built Embraer Lineage 1000 regional jets into long-range maritime patrol aircraft. Follow-on contracts are expected to increase the fleet to 10 replacements for the Pakistan navy’s legacy Lockheed P-3C Orion turboprops. A South Africa company has been contracted to do pre-conversion maintenance, repair and overhaul.

Jul 09, 2021

Members of a Taliban delegation visiting Moscow said today that the “Islamic emirates” control 85 per cent of Afghanistan’s territory and about 250 of the country’s 398 districts. One also said the government in Kabul controls only the administrative centres.

Jul 09, 2021

Haitian police say that a group of foreign mercenaries, including retired Colombian soldiers and a couple of Haitian-Americans, were among those responsible for assassination of President Jovenel Moïse the day before. Seventeen have been arrested, three were killed and a number of others were still at large.

Jul 09, 2021

At least seven Afghan Air Force pilots have been murdered away from their bases, evidently targetted by the Taliban in a bid to cripple one of the country’s most effective assets in combatting the ground-based extremists.

Jul 08, 2021

Confirmation that Iran has begun producing enriched uranium, insisting it ys for reactor fuel research, is worrying the U.S. and some European countries because of the potential for nuclear weapons development. Iran resumed its nuclear metallurgy program after the former U.S. administration arbitrarily withdrew from an international accord which the European partners want to revive.

Jul 08, 2021

There is “no quick fix” for a software program which resulted in the fatal crash of an RCAF Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter which crashed off the coast of Greece in April 2020, killing all six persons aboard. Troy Crosby, Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) in the Department of National Defence, says discussions are ongoing with Sikorsky on how to find a solution which doesn’t compromise other aspects of the aircraft’s operations.

Jul 08, 2021

Mary Simon, the Quebec Inuk leader and seasoned diplomat nominated as the next Governor General, is vigorously defending herself against predictable criticism that she doesn’t speak French. “Based on my experience growing up in Quebec, I was denied the chance to learn French during my time in the federal government day schools,” she says. Fluent in Inuktituk and English, she is “firmly committed” to learn Canada’s other official language.

Jul 08, 2021

A U.S. Marine Corps officer serving as general counsel at U.S. Cyber Command has suggested that says some transnational criminal hacking could warrant a military response. “Under ideal conditions, law enforcement organizations would address any type of criminal activity,” LCol Kurt Sanger argues in a co-authored article, noting that ideal conditions are rare in cyberspace. “Operational opportunities often must be seized immediately by whatever entity is best positioned to do so.”

Jul 08, 2021

Details on the next generation of long-range stealth bombers being developed for the U.S. Air Force remain closely guarded but a new official “photorealistic” image provide some clues about the B-21 Raider developed by Northrop Grumman. First deliveries of what’s expected to be more than 100 of the new platform are expected to begin mid-decade.

Jul 08, 2021

Could collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, be a power source for implantable devices? Israeli researchers believe that a nanomaterial derived from collagen has promising military applications, including enabling soldiers to communicate silently while permitting commanders to continually assesses exposure to toxins in the battlefield.

Jul 07, 2021

The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has begun producing enriched uranium which could lead to weapons development.

Jul 07, 2021

The heightened U.S. military presence along the border with Mexico is entering its fourth year with as many as 3,000 troops deployed through September 2022. They comprise mainly National Guard units controlled by U.S. Northern Command.

Jul 07, 2021

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s counterterrorism coordinator says his country has never faced terrorism challenge as tough as the homegrown variety. “This is the most dynamic, complex and rapidly evolving threat I think we’ve faced,” John Cohen told a virtual conference, explaining that it originates mainly from disaffected people radicalized by consuming inflammatory online misinformation.

Jul 07, 2021

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada suspects that the failure of a critical Bell Helicopter rotor pin caused the death June 28 of a B.C. pilot fighting forest fires in Alberta last week. In an emergency airworthiness directive, the board says failure of the component frees the rotor head and blades to separate from the aircraft.

Jul 07, 2021

Haitian President Jovenel Moise was shot to death at home early today in an attack that also wounded his wife. “A group of unidentified individuals, some of them speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president of the republic and thus fatally wounded the head of state,” Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said in a statement.

Jul 06, 2021

The U.S. Department of Defense has cancelled its $10-billion cloud computing contract with Microsoft. Amazon had protested the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, contending not only that Microsoft would be unable to fulfill its terms but also that the former administration had interfered politically. The DoD said today that the original plan is no longer technologically current and will be open for new bids.

Jul 06, 2021

As various jurisdictions, including the U.S. and Britain, plan to ease mask and social distancing requirements even as the aggressive COVID-19 Delta variant spreads, the World Health Organization says local conditions must be considered. “That should only be done in the context of considering both the intensity of transmission in the area and the level of vaccine coverage,” says Dr. Mike Ryan, the Irish epidemiologist who heads the WHO Health Emergency Program.

Jul 06, 2021

Quebec Inuk Mary J. Simon was appointed today as Canada’s 30th Governor General. The former CBC North producer and announcer went on to become Canada’s first Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs in 1994 and was a lead negotiator for the creation of the Arctic Council. She also later served two years as ambassador to Denmark.

Jul 05, 2021

Upgraded avionics and other critical systems in the RCAF’s 14 CH-139 search and rescue helicopters are on hold after Leonardo S.p.A., which took over the original manufacturer in 2016, submitted a proposal the government has deemed “unaffordable.” Negotiations have been suspended pending what DND describes as “alternate solutions to address emerging obsolescence with approved budget.”

Jul 05, 2021

Effective today, Canadians and permanent residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer must quarantine for two weeks, and eligible air travellers are exempt from having to spend their first three days in Canada in a government-approved hotel. All must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal prior to departure to log COVID-19 vaccination details as well as the results of a negative test less than three days old. However, the Canada Border Services Agency says travellers ineligible to travel before today still would not be able to enter the country.

Jul 05, 2021

At least 45 persons, including several on the ground, died when a Philippines Air Force troop carrier crashed after an aborted landing on a southern island July 4. The Lockheed Martin C-130H transport, built in 1988, was one of two delivered in January by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Jul 05, 2021

Hackers linked to the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence have been scaling up attacks on western targets in the public and private sectors, according to the U.S. and Britain. “These are almost certainly still ongoing,” their security agencies caution in a new report.

Jul 05, 2021

Facing widespread international condemnation of his country’s human rights record, Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed that any attempts by the West to interfere would mean “heads bashed bloody against a Great Wall of steel.” The Community Party leader also use the party’s centennnial celebrations last week to claim responsibility for the “great rejuvenation” of his country.

Jul 05, 2021

The U.S. State Department has approved a potential $445-million sale of 517 heavy tactical vehicles manufactured by Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense to Kuwait, calling it “an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.” The sale is subject to congressional approval and further negotiation.

Jul 05, 2021

Raytheon Technologies has been awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to develop a nuclear-armed cruise missile. The Massachusetts company says the replacement for 1980s weapons is expected to be completed in early 2027.

Jul 05, 2021

In an unprecedented move against a NATO ally, the U.S. State Department has added Turkey to a list of countries implicated in the use of child soldiers. The State Department says Turkey has provided “tangible support” to a Syrian opposition faction which recruits young members.

Jul 05, 2021

A U.S. Air Force instructor pilot suspended for refusing to wear a mast on military is petitioning to have his suspension lifted. His central argument, according to a legal firm that specializes in religious freedoms cases, was that the unidentified Mississippi-based pilot’s “Christian beliefs do not permit him to wear a mask.”

Jul 05, 2021

The chair of the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington state Democrat Adam Smith, has criticized Lockheed Martin and other contractors over the F-35 lifecycle costs. “There’s no question that everyone . . . could be doing a better job on getting sustainment costs down,” he says. “I understand they’re as high as $38,000 an hour, and that is incredibly expensive ― it’ll make the plane so that you don’t really want to operate it any more than you absolutely have to.”

Jul 05, 2021

Turkey’s state-controlled Roketsan has been tasked with developing a vertical missile launching system for the country’s new I-class frigates after U.S. sanctions disrupted original procurement plans. The U.S. imposed the sanctions after Turkey bought a Russian air defence system.

Jul 02, 2021

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan agrees with a decision by LGen Wayne Eyre, the acting Chief of the Defence Statt, to keep VAdm Craig Baines in command of the Royal Canadian Navy, saying he has full confidence that Eyre is “absolutely committed” to ensuring culture change in the military. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland have publicly questioned Eyre’s judgment in not sacking Baines even though the naval commander admitted a judgment lapse by playing golf with former CDS Jonathan Vance who is under investigation for misconduct.

Jul 02, 2021

U.S. Army commands have been told to prepare for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in less than two months.

Jun 30, 2021

CANSOFCOM has confirmed that an investigation into the accidental discharge of a new pistol that wounded a Joint Task Force 2 member last November, has found an improper holster was a contributing factor in the incident.

Jun 30, 2021

The Swiss Federal Council, subject to parliamentary ratification, has selected the Lockheed Martin F-35 in a $5.5 billion deal to replace its legacy Boeing F/A-18 Hornets and Northrop F-5 fighters. The other contenders were the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon; Sweden’s Gripen had been ruled out six years ago. The council also opted for five Raytheon Patriot missile batteries, saying today that “the two systems offer the highest overall benefit at the lowest overall cost.”

Jun 30, 2021

Babcock International says it is pursuing export opportunities for the Type 31 frigate it developed for the Royal Navy. The British shipbuilder’s CEO told a parliamentary committee June 29 that Babcock is the frontrunner in competitions with French, Italian and South Korean yards for sales to Greece, Indonesia and Poland.

Jun 30, 2021

Two former allies of the late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic were convicted June 29 of having aided and abetted crimes committed by Serb paramilitaries in a Bosnian town in 1992. Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic originally were acquitted in 2013 but that was overturned on appeal in 2015, setting the stage for retrial at the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague.

Jun 29, 2021

Already committed to three new heavy icebreakers to its Polar Security Cutter program, the U.S. Coast Guard has broached the idea of adding even more for expanded capabilities in the Arctic. “There’s probably a conversation for more than three,” USCG Commandant Karl Schultz says. “After a decade-plus of talking about the need for new ships, we've got funding for the first two, on track for the third, and having conversations about additional ships.”

Jun 29, 2021

Persons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are being advised by he World Health Organization to continue wearing face masks and follow social distancing measures as the highly infectious Delta variant spurs new outbreaks around the world.

Jun 29, 2021

VAdm Craig Baines will continue as commander of the Royal Canadian Navy after a recent controversy about playing golf with the former Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen Jonathan Vance, who is being investigated for in appropriate behaviour. Announcing the decision today, the acting CDS, LGen Wayne Eyre, noted that Baines had “admitted his error in judgment and publicly apologized.”

Jun 28, 2021

CACI International, a contractor at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq nearly two decades ago, is a step closer to being tried for alleged human rights abuses arising from what were described as “enhanced interrogation.” The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear the Virginia-based company’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling in a lawsuit by three former inmates. CACI had originally argued that it was immune from prosecution because it was working for the U.S. government.

Jun 28, 2021

Moscow City Court today rejected a former U.S. Marine’s appeal against a nine-year prison sentence for assaulting police nearly two years ago. Trevor Reed is alleged to have assaulting officers who were driving him to a police station after he had been drinking at a party. The U.S. has called the evidence week and Reed said it was a “gross injustice.”

Jun 28, 2021

The crash of an RCAF CH-148 Cyclone helicopter into the Ionian Sea off Greece in April 2020 has been attributed in part to issues with the Sikorsky’s autopilot and system override procedures. Details were set out today in a report from the formal inquiry into the crash which killed all six personnel aboard Stalker 22 as it was returning to HMCS Fredericton during Operation REASSURANCE.

Jun 28, 2021

Three Iran-backed militia facilities in Iraq and Syria were targeted in U.S. air strikes June 27 in retaliation for several months of drone and rocket attacks on U.S. and allied facilities in Iraq.

Jun 28, 2021

A group of nine eastern European NATO countries led by Romania has called for a greater allied presence in response to a Russian troop building along the border with Ukraine. They shared their concerns during a virtual meeting last month with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Jun 28, 2021

British classified military documents, including details of a current Royal Navy deployment in the Black Sea and plans for a renewed presence in Iraq, have been found at a bus stop in Kent. The Ministry of Defence is investigating “an incident in which sensitive defence papers were recovered by a member of the public.”

Jun 28, 2021

The Philippines has been cleared by the U.S. State Department to acquire a dozen Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters as well as Northrop Grumman radars and Raytheon and Boeing munitions. Worth an estimated $2.43 billion, the deal requires congressional approval and is subject to further negotiation with the OEMs.

Jun 28, 2021

In retaliation for Italy having imposed an arms embargo last January, the United Arab Emirates has evicted the Italian air force from the Al Minhad base near Dubai. Italy had until July 2 to fully comply but a former Italian air force commander says the final aircraft was gone by last Thursday, leaving only residual material to collect.

Jun 25, 2021

RAdm Scott Bishop, head of Canadian Forces Intelligence Command and Chief of Defence Intelligence since 2016 is off to Brussels this summer with a promotion and assignment as Military Representative at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Looking back at unprecedented external reviews of intelligence practices, he likens them to frequent medical exams – initially intrusive but beneficial in the long run.

Jun 25, 2021

With U.S. plans to withdraw 4,000 troops from Afghanistan well on track, nearly 1,000 are expected to stay, mostly providing diplomatic security but also helping Turkish forces to protect Kabul Airport until its NATO ally sets up a formal security arrangement.

Jun 25, 2021

A European Council rejection of a French-German proposal for direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin has prompted the Kremlin to suggest that a “fragmented” European Union is problematic “fragmented.” A Kremlin spokeman said today that Putin generally is “interested in improving working relations” but that “the European position is fragmented, not always consistent and sometimes unclear.”

Jun 24, 2021

Contemplating the almost inevitability of future coronavirus or other pandemics, the Public Health Agency of Canada is reported to have reorganized and assembled a security and intelligence section mandated to provide more effective warnings about future outbreaks.

Jun 24, 2021

A draft report prepared for the UN concludes that climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth, presenting major societal and strategic challenges in the coming decades even if greenhouse gases are tamed. It warns about, among other things, ecosystem collapse, species extinction, more disease and severe coastal flooding before mid-century.

Jun 24, 2021

A widely-reported Russian “confrontation” with a Royal Navy destroyer in the Black Sea June 23 has elicited warnings about provocative disinformation. It seems the munitions used by Russian forces were part of a scheduled exercise and had nothing to do with the destroyer’s transit of Ukrainian waters along the the Crimean coast.

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