IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Aug 02, 2019

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland finally managed to meet with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, to discuss tensions following Canada’s arrest of a Huawei executive on a U.S. warrant last December and China’s subsequent detention of two Canadians. They met Aug. 2 on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations summit in Bangkok.

Aug 02, 2019

Five days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate John Ratcliffe to succeed Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence, the Texas Republican congressman has withdrawn. Democrats excoriated him as a Trump loyalist who would undercut the traditional independence of the intelligence agencies and other Republicans had been unusually silent.

Aug 02, 2019

Green Party leader Elizabeth May suggested that “if” engineering firm SNC is found guilty on corruption and fraud charges, they should be forced to perform “community service” by repairing water infrastructure on native reserves. This solution “would keep the workers working. The shareholders of SNC-Lavalin wouldn’t like it, but maybe they should have paid more attention.”

Aug 02, 2019

U.S. military intelligence has tracked a new North Korean missile test Aug. 2. The initial assessment is that it involves two short-range ballistic missiles fired earlier in the week.

Aug 02, 2019

No sooner had U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed official optimism about the prospect of satisfactory trade talks with China, set to resume next month, President Donald Trump ramped up the pressure with a statement that he will impose 10 per cent tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports he hasn't already taxed.

Aug 02, 2019

The United States confirmed Aug. 2 that it has formally withdrawn from its 1988 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, a Cold War deal which ostensibly has limited development ground-based missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers. “Russia is solely responsible,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement, accusing it of having “failed to return to full and verified compliance” of new technologies.

Aug 02, 2019

A $45-billion increase in the U.S. military budget, to $2.7 trillion over the next two years, has been approved by the Republican-controlled Senate. However, the vote of 67-28 divided the Republican majority with 30 voting “yes” and 23 voting “no”. The budget breakdown is $738 billion in 2020 and $740 billion in 2021 compared with $716 billion this year.

Aug 02, 2019

Advances in quantum computing evidently pose a threat to levels of encryption currently seen as secure. While a major breakthrough is not considered likely for several years, it is estimated that weaker cybersecurity algorithms will be vulnerable earlier.

Aug 01, 2019

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that $250 million will be spent to repair and upgrade Canadian Armed Forces Reserves armouries and training facilities over the next five years. His department says the plan will “accommodate future growth in the reserves” to a projected 30,000 while adding new equipment.

Aug 01, 2019

At least 32 people died in Yemen when Houthi rebels used missiles and a remotely-piloted vehicle to attack what the government says was a graduation ceremony in Aden for new army recruits. movement. The rebels say the parade was part of preparations by pro-government forces for an assault on Houthi-held territory.

Aug 01, 2019

Only one of the multiple candidates for selection as the Democratic Party’s candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election next year favours maintenance of a smaller peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. The U.S. currently has 14,000 personnel deployed.

Aug 01, 2019

A day after stating that President Donald Trump wants U.S. troops withdrawn from Afghanistan within the next 15 months, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reversed himself. He now says there is no deadline and accuses media of misinterpreting his earlier comments.

Jul 31, 2019

Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden, seen as an eventual heir to the Al Qaeda terrorist leadership, has been killed but other than that he died within the first two years of the current U.S. administration, when and where is unclear. His death was disclosed by anonymous U.S. officials.

Jul 31, 2019

The German government, which has resisted the use of military assets to protect commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf, evidently is worried that Britain may be drifting closer to an American-led response to Iranian activities, an approach previously rebuffed by France as well as Britain.

Jul 31, 2019

Canadian Armed Forces personnel helping police to track down two murder suspects in northern Manitoba have been withdrawn at the request of the police as the hunt stretched into its ninth day. “We want to be . . . focused with our own resources and determine where we should go from here," a police spokesperson explained.

Jul 31, 2019

John Turner will join Seaspan Shipyards as Vice President, Government Relations on 19 August 2019. 

Jul 31, 2019

The Department of National Defence is continuing to investigate complaints about harassment and unprofessional behaviour by personnel deployed with NATO’s mission in Latvia. The focus evidently has been on conflict between staff in the civilian-military cooperation element who allegedly, among other things, mocked senior leadership.

Jul 31, 2019

At least 35 people, all civilians, were killed in Afghanistan July 31 when an improvised explosive device destroyed their bus on the main road between the provincial capitals of Herat and Kandahar. Security has been deteriorating across the country as the Taliban and Islamic State fighters mount near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, government employees and civilians.

Jul 31, 2019

North Korea launched two more short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan July 31, less than a week after a similar test, the South Korean military said, adding that the latest development “not aid in efforts to ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula." A U.S. official said the launch posed no threat to the U.S. or any of its allies in the region.

Jul 30, 2019

The next federal general election will take place as scheduled, on Monday, Oct. 21, despite a federal court directive. An orthodox Jewish group had pushed for a one-week delay because the original date is a holiday on the group’s calendar but Elections Canada points out there are advance polling options.

Jul 30, 2019

The U.S. Senate failed July 29 to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a congressional bid to block the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The White House said last month that the sales improved the security of two friendly countries.

Jul 30, 2019

Two U.S. soldiers have been killed in an apparent insider attack in the Shawalikot district of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Details are sketchy but local police say they were shot by an Afghan soldier.

Jul 30, 2019

Japan has formally broached the idea of becoming a full partner in the F-35 rather than just being a customer for the Lockheed-Martin joint strike fighter. The notion has been outlined in a letter to the Pentagon from Atsuo Suzuki, director general of Japan's Bureau of Defense Buildup Planning.

Jul 30, 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says President Donald Trump wants to reduce his country's military presence in Afghanistan before the next U.S. presidential election, set for Nov. 3, 2020. More than 20,000 NATO coalition troops train, assist and advise Afghan forces and carry out counter-terrorism operations.

Jul 29, 2019

Canadian Armed Forces personnel and equipment have been called into assist the RCMP is searching for two murder suspects believed to be hiding in northern Manitoba.

Jul 29, 2019

Russia has held its annual Navy Day show in St Petersburg, President Vladimir Putin's home city.

Jul 29, 2019

Beijing’s latest white paper on defence says there will be intense global competition as the major powers readjust security and military strategies to gain strategic advantage. It also says independent movements in Taiwan, Tibet and the northwestern border region of Xinjian are “threats to China’s national security and social stability.”

Jul 29, 2019

Arrow-3, the Israeli exo-atmospheric ballistic missile interceptor successfully intercepted three medium-range missile targets over the North Pacific. Three Medium-Range Ballistic Missile targets were intercepted in space minutes after the launch from Kodiak, Alaska, by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency.

Jul 29, 2019

The British Ministry of Defence says Europe can afford to develop two versions of so-called “sixth generation” fighters concurrently but that the countries involved are coordinating for “maximum interoperability.” Britain and Sweden have signed a feasibility memorandum of understanding on a new aircraft while France and Germany are jointly developing a potential alternative.

Jul 29, 2019

Mark Esper, an U.S. Army veteran and former lobbyist, has been sworn in as the 27th Secretary of Defense, filling a gap which has existed at the Pentagon since the resignation of James Mattis last December. Esper, who was confirmed by the Senate, was sworn in at the White House, where President Donald Trump predicted that “he’s going to be one of the great ones.”

Jul 29, 2019

Dan Coats, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence who has overseen the the country’s 17 intelligence agencies since March 2017, is stepping down in August. The decision was confirmed in a tweet by President Donald Trump, who said he would nominate Texas congressman John Ratcliffe as Coats’ successor. Coats and Trump have been at odds over several high-profile issues but the President said he expects Ratcliffe to “inspire greatness.”

Jul 27, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court has partly cleared the way for President Donald Trump’s administration to divert $2.5 billion from the Department of Defense budget for construction of sections of a wall along the border with Mexico. The ideologically-divided court’s 5-4 ruling overturned a lower court’s decision which had blocked the transfer pending other legal appeals.

Jul 26, 2019

In a 5-2 decision released today, the Supreme Court has ruled that Canada's military justice system does not contravene the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There are no juries in the military courts martial system, only a judge and a military panel. The military prosecutor retains the discretion of the whether to push cases to the civilian justice system or not.

Jul 26, 2019

The military is acknowledged by the World Economic Forum as “still important when it comes to international relations” but the Switzerland-based organization says that despite growing signs of military preparations under way in some countries, there is every reason to believe that a major war is impossible. “Leading military powers are unwilling to use war as a method of solving differences between themselves” and the “field of rivalry” between smaller states is “gradually contracting.”

Jul 26, 2019

People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier says he would prefer to fence-off some sections of the border with the United States to block illegal refugees and that if he became Prime Minister he would declare the entire border an official port of entry “and send back to the U.S. anyone trying to enter illegally.”

Jul 26, 2019

Woody Johnson, the United States’ ambassador to the United Kingdom, is predicting that with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, bilateral relations with be “sensational” because Johnson and President Donald Trump have much in common. When he was Mayor of London, Johnson once called Trump “stupefyingly ignorant.”

Jul 26, 2019

European and international warrants have been issued by Austria for the arrest of a Russian military officer it says recruited an Austrian officer who allegedly spied for Russia since the 1990s. Police say Col. Igor Egorovich Zaytsev “is suspected of inducing a retired 70-year-old colonel of the Austrian army to carry out an intelligence operation to the detriment of Austria, to reveal state secrets and to deliberately give up military secrets."

Jul 26, 2019

North Korea says its latest launch of two missiles into the Sea of Japan was a "solemn warning" to "warmongers.” In the aftermath of a decision by South Korea and the United States to hold joint exercises next month, Leader Kim Jong-un said development of a new tactical guidance system was part of his country’s response to “potential and direct threats.”

Jul 24, 2019

Two former Canadian ambassadors to Beijing have been contacted by Global Affairs with a troubling message from the PMO to "speak with one voice to support the strategy of the government".

Jul 24, 2019

A judge has ruled that Canada’s chief electoral officer must reconsider the Oct. 21 date for the federal election because it coincides with the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret. Voting and campaigning are forbidden for Orthodox Jews on the holiday.

Jul 23, 2019

The federal government has announced the official request for proposals for Canada's 88 new fighter jets to replace the aging CF-18 fleet. The requests for proposals have been sent to the four suppliers in the running for the $19-billion competition: Saab Aeronautics, Airbus, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Jul 23, 2019

A total of 640 firearms were reported lost by police or public agencies between 2005 and 2019, another 173 were reported stolen from sources such as DND and RCMP.

Jul 23, 2019

South Korean air force jets fired 360 rounds of warning shots Tuesday after a Russian military plane twice violated South Korea's airspace off the country's east coast, Seoul officials said in an announcement that was quickly disputed by Russia.

Jul 23, 2019

President Donald Trump brought the leader of Pakistan to the White House on Monday to discuss a peace deal in neighboring Afghanistan, declaring he could end the longest U.S. war in a week but doesn’t want to wipe the country “off the face of the earth.”

Jul 22, 2019

Along with a move to its new location at the Canadian War Museum, the Canada Army Run is introducing new combined events plus three new routes for 2019 that will challenge participants while showcasing the beautiful scenery of the National Capital Region.

Jul 22, 2019

The federal government has awarded a $12 million contract to KPMG of Ottawa, to design and deliver a new industrial security system to replace the electronic systems used for the Contract Security Program and the Controlled Goods Program with a single self-service electronic interface.

New projects to support Canadian Veterans and their families
Jul 22, 2019

Veterans Affairs Canada has selected 22 community-led projects to provide better support for the Veteran community in four key areas: Veteran homelessness, Veteran employment, women Veterans, and mental health.

Jul 19, 2019

The federal government has reached a deal worth $900 million to compensate the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. The settlement provides $800 million for CAF members and $100 million in compensation for civilian employees of DND.

Jul 19, 2019

Canada will maintain its medevac capability in Mali while downsizing its tactical transport presence to plug a capability gap in the UN mission in Mali between the Canadian Armed Forces' withdrawal at the end of August and the arrival of Romanian replacements in mid-October.

LGen Jean-Marc Lanthier assumes VCDS responsibilities
Jul 18, 2019

General Jonathan Vance presided over a change of appointment ceremony today at National Defence Headquarters in which Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier assumed the responsibilities of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS), replacing LGen Paul Wynnyk who retires after over 38 years of service to Canada.

Jul 18, 2019

Carleton University Professor Stephen Saideman has received a $2.5 million Partnership Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to create an inclusive and innovative defence and security community.

Jul 18, 2019

Naval forces from 19 nations, including 15 NATO Allies, recently gathered on the Black Sea for Exercise Sea Breeze 2019, co-led by the United States and Ukraine.

Jul 18, 2019

There is a sense that things are too cozy in New Brunswick – that the Irving family has too much influence on media and politics. NB MP Dominic LeBlanc should have known that accepting a free flight from the Irvings would blow up, writes John Ivison.

Jul 17, 2019

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says time is running out to save the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. U.S. President Donald Trump, accusing Russia of abrogating the agreement, announced in February that the U.S. would suspend its obligations. Russia followed suit, saying it would begin developing new systems.

Jul 17, 2019

The United States has removed Turkey from the list of customers for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II after Ankara received the first parts of a Russian missile defence system. A long-time participant in the program, Turkey was in line to procure 100 of the stealth fighters.

Jul 17, 2019

The Government Accountability Office says that although the U.S. Army is reaching out to small businesses as part of its overall modernization effort, it is not fully leveraging Army expertise, including its Office of Small Business Programs.

Jul 17, 2019

A Turkish diplomat and a civilian were shot to death in Irbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan Region. No one immediately claimed responsibility but Turkey has already vowed to retaliate.

Jul 17, 2019

A foreign-registered oil tanker has been towed into Iranian waters after sending a distress signal in the Strait of Hormuz. A foreign ministry spokesman told Iranian media the vessel was towed “in accordance with international regulation.”

Jul 17, 2019

President Vladimir Putin’s push to modernize the Russian military, having cost some 20 trillion rubles (approximately C$400 billion) over the last decade, evidently has left his country’s defence sector deeply in debt.

Jul 17, 2019

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn his candidacy for the Pentagon's top job amidst reports of domestic violence in his family.

Jul 17, 2019

A recently released but subsequently deleted document written by a Canadian Senator for the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly apparently confirmed that U.S. nuclear weapons are stored in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

Jul 16, 2019

The Government of Canada has awarded contracts to Chantier Davie and Seaspan Victoria Shipyards Limited (initially totalling $1 billion) to carry out maintenance work on the first group of Canada’s Halifax-class frigates. A similar contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is currently being finalized.

Jul 16, 2019

The government has promised $7 billion worth of long-term maintenance contracts to three shipyards, and will be making major announcements today at shipyards in Quebec and Victoria.

Jul 16, 2019

Almost five months after a military standoff with India, Pakistan has fully reopened its airspace to civil traffic. The shutdown in February was in response to an Indian air strike against what was described as a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

Jul 16, 2019

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel says the European Union might not wake up to the threat of Iran "until Iranian nuclear missiles fall on European soil. He was reacting to a statement by EU foreign ministers to the effect that Iran's recent breaches of a 2015 deal limiting its nuclear program were insignificant.

Jul 16, 2019
Recent military exercises by South Korea and the United States, perceived by North Korea as preparations for an eventual invasion, have prompted the foreign ministry to issue a statement that it is considering ending its moratorium on nuclear development.
Jul 15, 2019

U.S. President Trump’s call for four Democratic Party congresswomen of colour to “go home” is being decried by world leaders as racist.His statement that the congresswomen “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe”, is being widely condemned.

Jul 15, 2019

Asked by a journalist July 15 whether U.S. President Donald Trump was being racist in calling on four female members of Congress to “go home”despite the fact that three were born in the U.S., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied that “I think Canadians and people around the world know exactly what I think.”

Jul 15, 2019

As Canada's extended participation in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali draws to a close, the country continues to grapple with Islamist violence and other challenges of organized crime, smuggling, drug and human trafficking, and terrorism.

Jul 15, 2019

Vassy Kapelos looks at defence factors that may inform voters in the coming Canadian election, such as defence spending, the Mark Norman fiasco, and general defence disarray.

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