In the past four years, the Pentagon and State Department have forged a close, and largely unreported, alliance with the Ugandan military. A force of 120 American advisers based in Uganda provides training, weapons and supplies — $100 million worth since 2011 — and in exchange Ugandan soldiers bear the brunt of the close fighting in Somalia, a stronghold for Islamic militants.
Archived posts from category ‘Alliances’
Beneath the often contentious U.S.-Japan basing dilemma is an underlying truth: that armed forces need to train in order to retain their effectiveness. Those based outside of their home countries not only need living space, room to park planes, and places to bury munitions, but they also need geographic space to train. Under the present conditions of the U.S.-Japan alliance, Japan finds itself confronted with the necessity of accommodating 27,000 American service members, their families, bases and equipment.
With rebel forces in Tripoli and Moammar Gadhafi on the run, the end could be near for the Libyan civil war. Sporadic fighting continues in the capital city of the oil-rich North African nation, NATO warplanes are still patrolling overhead, and there’s always the danger of Gadhafi true-believers launching a fresh insurgency. But already, Western analysts are weighing the lessons of the six-month-long conflict. “Modern air power is the key force that is directly leading to the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime,” retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula concluded. True, but a host of other cutting-edge technologies, and a few decidedly low-end ones, also played critical roles.
Faced with severe budget cuts at home, Britain and France agreed today to work more closely together in the realm of defense. At a bilateral summit in London, Prime Minister David Cameron said that he and President Nicolas Sarkozy had opened a “new chapter” in the relationship between the two countries.
The past year has been a pivotal period for one of the world’s most important strategic industries. In 2009 and early 2010, the military aerospace industry marked key turning points: For the first time, the U.S. Air Force — the world’s most important aerospace customer — bought more unmanned aircraft than manned aircraft. In the same time-span, the Air Force refused to extend production of its exclusive, world-beating F-22 fighter beyond the 187 units it has already ordered, instead opting to develop the smaller, potentially cheaper-per-unit and exportable F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Let’s a look at the third panel first, since it featured Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter’s eyebrow-raising statement in response to a question about traditional democratic allies. “We don’t think about them strategically,” Slaughter said. This made former Bush deputy national security adviser and co-panelist Elliot Abrams’ head nearly explode.
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his Democratic Party of Japan rode into power in the fall of last year on the promise of tax cuts and a fresh approach to foreign policy. After a spate of crises less than a year after taking office, Hatoyama’s approval rating plummeted. Last week, a small leftist party allied with the DPJ split from the ruling coalition. On Tuesday, Hatoyama announced he would step down as prime minister.
Kyle at the Kanrin Maru Symposium
War Is Boring’s West Coast office — a.k.a, “Kyle Mizokami” — on May 10 attended the Japan Society of Northern California’s Kanrin Maru Symposium, named for the ship that brought the first Japanese embassy to the U.S. The symposium featured speakers mulling over one of the most important security relationships in the world: that between America and Japan.
Doug Bandow at the Cato Institute has an article up at The National Interest Online called “Japan Can Defend Itself”. It’s what you would expect from the Cato Institute and has been one of their favorite drums to bang in the post-Cold War world: regional allies need to do more, so the U.S. can scale back and avoid spending money and getting roped into things.
The news came as a surprise to most people. In 2008, the BBC revealed that the United Arab Emirates had maintained a small military presence in Afghanistan for five years. The UAE troops worked alongside U.S. and NATO soldiers and helped bridge the religious divide. “At first I thought these were American soldiers and I wanted them to leave,” an Afghan told BBC reporter Frank Gardner, “but when they said they were Muslims I knew they were our brothers.”
A botched assault by American helicopters has killed around two dozen Afghan civilians in Uruzgan province, in the country’s restive south. Voice of America reports 21 killed and 14 wounded in the Sunday attack. A Dutch reporter embedded in the province told our own Andrew Balcombe that the toll was higher.