Tagged: cold

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Israeli military investigating Palestinian's death in West Bank confrontation

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A Palestinian man died after a confrontation with Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority condemned as a “cold-blooded execution”.

The Israeli military said the man had attempted to attack troops and that it was investigating the incident.

In security camera footage posted on social media and carried by Israeli news sites, soldiers could be seen kicking and striking a man, identified by Palestinian officials as Yassin Omar Serda, after detaining him in the town of Jericho.

In a statement, the military said the man was armed with an iron rod and ran toward the soldiers in an attempt to strike them. The troops, it said, were on a raid to arrest “suspects” in the town.

“In response to the immediate threat, the troops fired toward the assailant and confronted him from close range and were able to stop him,” the military said.

“A knife was also found in his possession. Troops evacuated him to a hospital to receive medical treatment. His death was later announced. The incident is being reviewed.”

The Palestinian Information Ministry said about 20 soldiers had administered a “heavy beating” to Serda, especially on his stomach and back.

“The Information Ministry views (his) martyrdom … shortly after his arrest a cold-blooded execution,” it said.

Serda’s family said it was seeking to have an autopsy performed.

Israeli troops frequently mount raids in the West Bank to detain suspected militants. Israel captured the territory in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians seek to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

An Israeli soldier, Elor Azaria, was sentenced last February to 18 months imprisonment for killing a wounded and incapacitated Palestinian assailant in the West Bank town of Hebron in 2015. He was convicted of manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

His trial was one of the most divisive in Israeli history. Supporters argued he was justified in shooting a Palestinian whom they said had intended to kill Israelis. The military said he violated standing orders and that his conduct was unbecoming of an Israeli soldier.

Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Additional reporting by Ori Lewis, Mustafa Abu Ganayeh and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Janet Lawrence

References

  1. ^ The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. (thomsonreuters.com)
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German defense minister slams Trump's military-heavy approach to security

MUNICH — German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen denounced President Trump’s military-heavy approach to global affairs Friday, saying the United States is shortchanging diplomacy and soft power in favor of a dangerous overreliance on its military.

The tough criticism, made to an audience of the world’s security elite, including an unsmiling Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, was a European riposte to Trump’s ongoing push for Europe to spend more on defense. Even as von der Leyen acknowledged her nation’s need to boost defense spending, she said that Trump’s proposed deep spending cuts to diplomacy, development aid and the United Nations could threaten international security just as much as a failure to invest enough in weaponry.

Von der Leyen’s comments at the Munich Security Conference, which were echoed by French Defense Minister Florence Parly, came amid a deepening rift in the transatlantic alliance between the United States and Europe that helped underpin the post-World War II global order. At a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels this week, Mattis criticized many allies for failing to create plans to meet their military spending commitments, and said he was worried that European Union efforts to bolster security cooperation could lead to wasteful duplication.

“It is a point of concern to us that some of our partners continue to roll back spending on diplomacy, international aid and the United Nations,” von der Leyen said, without mentioning Trump by name.

[NATO allies boost defense spending in the wake of Trump criticism[1]]

It was one of the most forceful recent European rejoinders to Trump’s global spending priorities. In the 13 months since Trump took office, Europe has moved to boost defense spending, but also to improve its ability to fight alone without the support of the United States, if need be.

“Transatlantic burden-sharing cannot consist of a model where some are responsible for the sharp end of the stick and some of us are responsible for humanitarian issues and reconstruction,” von der Leyen said. “This must become a guiding principle on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Trump’s proposed 2019 budget, released Monday, would chop funding for the State Department by 26 percent, even as it proposes significant increases for the Pentagon.

German defense spending falls well below NATO goals, which push members to spend at least 2 percent of their economic output on defense every year. Despite Berlin’s manufacturing might, its military spending lags at 1.2 percent. The shortfall has made Europe’s biggest economy a frequent target of criticism for Trump and other U.S. officials. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats campaigned in September elections on a pledge to reach the NATO goal. But a coalition agreement the party reached this month to govern with the center-left Social Democrats made no specific mention of the goal and offered no timeline for hitting it.

The agreement — which must still be approved by the Social Democrats’ rank-and-file before Germany can form a government after a record-long delay — did earmark surplus government funds for defense and development.

Meanwhile, Germany’s military is in a derelict state. The country’s parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces said last month that the German military, the Bundeswehr, was effectively “not deployable for collective defense.” 

Germany’s Die Welt newspaper reported Thursday that the nation’s military has only nine operational Leopard 2 tanks, even though it has pledged to have 44 ready for a NATO rapid-reaction force it is slated to lead early next year. The report cited leaked Defense Ministry documents.

Von der Leyen said Friday that the country is fixing the deficiencies in its military, but that it will take time after 25 years of defense cuts that followed the end of the Cold War.

[Germany’s army is so underequipped that it used broomsticks instead of machine guns[2]]

France’s defense minister echoed the push for Europe to stand on its own.

Europe must develop its security capabilities so that it can act autonomously in military conflicts “without having to call the United States to rush to our sick bed,” Parly said, even as she described the alliance with the United States as “indispensable.”

Europe’s efforts to better integrate its military operations received an endorsement from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who said during a panel discussion at the conference that he had long opposed the idea as an unnecessary competitor to NATO, but had recently changed his mind. 

Defense cooperation, he said, “may be the antidote to this nationalist fever.” He argued that it was also a way to keep Britain in the European fold while deterring Russian aggression.

Given the opportunity to criticize Europe for not spending more on defense, Graham demurred.   

“I want you to get to 2 percent so Trump will be quiet,” he said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking late Friday, took aim at both Trump’s White House and Russia, saying he worries that “phony populism” is driving the world back to the conflicts of the 20th century. He said he hoped an international commission could examine the way Russia is trying to influence Western political systems.

“I never thought I’d live to see this naked, naked nationalism be given legitimacy in so many parts of the world,” Biden said.

            Read more:         

Facing Russian threat, NATO boosts operations for the first time since the Cold War[3]  

Afraid of a major conflict? The German military is currently unavailable.[4]  

            Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world[5]            

            Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news[6]         

0

German defense minister slams Trump's military-heavy approach to …

MUNICH — German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen denounced President Trump’s military-heavy approach to global affairs Friday, saying the United States is shortchanging diplomacy and soft power in favor of a dangerous overreliance on its military.

The tough criticism, made to an audience of the world’s security elite, including an unsmiling Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, was a European riposte to Trump’s ongoing push for Europe to spend more on defense. Even as von der Leyen acknowledged her nation’s need to boost defense spending, she said that Trump’s proposed deep spending cuts to diplomacy, development aid and the United Nations could threaten international security just as much as a failure to invest enough in weaponry.

Von der Leyen’s comments at the Munich Security Conference, which were echoed by French Defense Minister Florence Parly, came amid a deepening rift in the transatlantic alliance between the United States and Europe that helped underpin the post-World War II global order. At a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels this week, Mattis criticized many allies for failing to create plans to meet their military spending commitments, and said he was worried that European Union efforts to bolster security cooperation could lead to wasteful duplication.

“It is a point of concern to us that some of our partners continue to roll back spending on diplomacy, international aid and the United Nations,” von der Leyen said, without mentioning Trump by name.

[NATO allies boost defense spending in the wake of Trump criticism[1]]

It was one of the most forceful recent European rejoinders to Trump’s global spending priorities. In the 13 months since Trump took office, Europe has moved to boost defense spending, but also to improve its ability to fight alone without the support of the United States, if need be.

“Transatlantic burden-sharing cannot consist of a model where some are responsible for the sharp end of the stick and some of us are responsible for humanitarian issues and reconstruction,” von der Leyen said. “This must become a guiding principle on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Trump’s proposed 2019 budget, released Monday, would chop funding for the State Department by 26 percent, even as it proposes significant increases for the Pentagon.

German defense spending falls well below NATO goals, which push members to spend at least 2 percent of their economic output on defense every year. Despite Berlin’s manufacturing might, its military spending lags at 1.2 percent. The shortfall has made Europe’s biggest economy a frequent target of criticism for Trump and other U.S. officials. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats campaigned in September elections on a pledge to reach the NATO goal. But a coalition agreement the party reached this month to govern with the center-left Social Democrats made no specific mention of the goal and offered no timeline for hitting it.

The agreement — which must still be approved by the Social Democrats’ rank-and-file before Germany can form a government after a record-long delay — did earmark surplus government funds for defense and development.

Meanwhile, Germany’s military is in a derelict state. The country’s parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces said last month that the German military, the Bundeswehr, was effectively “not deployable for collective defense.” 

Germany’s Die Welt newspaper reported Thursday that the nation’s military has only nine operational Leopard 2 tanks, even though it has pledged to have 44 ready for a NATO rapid-reaction force it is slated to lead early next year. The report cited leaked Defense Ministry documents.

Von der Leyen said Friday that the country is fixing the deficiencies in its military, but that it will take time after 25 years of defense cuts that followed the end of the Cold War.

[Germany’s army is so underequipped that it used broomsticks instead of machine guns[2]]

France’s defense minister echoed the push for Europe to stand on its own.

Europe must develop its security capabilities so that it can act autonomously in military conflicts “without having to call the United States to rush to our sick bed,” Parly said, even as she described the alliance with the United States as “indispensable.”

Europe’s efforts to better integrate its military operations received an endorsement from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who said during a panel discussion at the conference that he had long opposed the idea as an unnecessary competitor to NATO, but had recently changed his mind. 

Defense cooperation, he said, “may be the antidote to this nationalist fever.” He argued that it was also a way to keep Britain in the European fold while deterring Russian aggression.

Given the opportunity to criticize Europe for not spending more on defense, Graham demurred.   

“I want you to get to 2 percent so Trump will be quiet,” he said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking late Friday, took aim at both Trump’s White House and Russia, saying he worries that “phony populism” is driving the world back to the conflicts of the 20th century. He said he hoped an international commission could examine the way Russia is trying to influence Western political systems.

“I never thought I’d live to see this naked, naked nationalism be given legitimacy in so many parts of the world,” Biden said.

            Read more:         

Facing Russian threat, NATO boosts operations for the first time since the Cold War[3]  

Afraid of a major conflict? The German military is currently unavailable.[4]  

            Today’s coverage from Post correspondents around the world[5]            

            Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news[6]         

0

Trump's Military Parade Could Cost As Much As $50 Million

Tanks parade past President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, on July 14 during the Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. Trump requested the Pentagon plan a similar parade for Washington, D.C., and they’ve produced five options ranging in cost from $3 million to $50 million. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Picture this: troops in vintage uniforms marching through the streets as military aircraft carve the skies overhead, all in a grand celebration of Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. That’s one scenario taking shape as the Pentagon maps out options for the military parade President Trump has requested.

In response to Trump’s request, the Department of Defense has worked up five options, with price tags ranging from $3 million to as much as $50 million, a U.S. official told NPR.

Meanwhile White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee on Wednesday that “very preliminary” estimates he had seen put the cost at between $10 million and $30 million “depending on the size of the parade, the scope of it, the length of it, those kinds of things.”

“Obviously an hour parade is different than a five-hour parade in terms of the cost and the equipment and those types of things,” Mulvaney added.

Trump has said he wants to try to top the French Bastille Day parade he attended last year in Paris, which lasted just over two hours.

“We had a lot of planes going over and we had a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see,” Trump said in September, describing the French parade from two months earlier. “They had representatives from different wars and different uniforms. It was really so well done.”

You can see the influence of that parade in what the White House requested the Pentagon plot out, right down to the uniforms from wars past.

According to the official, the request was for a parade that would take place on Veterans Day, with a World War I theme, featuring military aircraft, heavy armored vehicles — possibly including tanks — and troops from all the services taking part. Troops wearing World War I uniforms are also in the mix.

The last military parade through the streets of Washington, D.C., was in 1991, to celebrate victory in Operation Desert Storm. There also were parades at the conclusion of the Civil War, World War I and World War II. There isn’t a tradition of military parades in the U.S. outside of war victories and Cold War-era presidential inaugurations. And 16 years into the war in Afghanistan, there is no clear path to victory.

By potentially tying the parade to the 100th anniversary of the end of the War To End All Wars, there may be an effort to associate with the tradition of celebrating war victories and avoid associations with countries like North Korea, China and Russia, which regularly hold military parades, in part for their propaganda value.

Members of Congress from both parties have been critical of the idea of a military parade, questioning its cost and necessity.

“I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) last week to reporters in the Capitol. “America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don’t need to show it off.”

Three White House spokesmen did not respond to a request for comment about the emerging details and cost estimates, but last week Press Secretary Sarah Sanders described the president’s motivation.

“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” she said. “He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”

References

  1. ^ Enlarge this image (media.npr.org)
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Trump's Military Parade Could Cost As Much As $50 Million

Tanks parade past President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, on July 14 during the Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. Trump requested the Pentagon plan a similar parade for Washington, D.C., and they’ve produced five options ranging in cost from $3 million to $50 million. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Picture this: troops in vintage uniforms marching through the streets as military aircraft carve the skies overhead, all in a grand celebration of Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. That’s one scenario taking shape as the Pentagon maps out options for the military parade President Trump has requested.

In response to Trump’s request, the Department of Defense has worked up five options, with price tags ranging from $3 million to as much as $50 million, a U.S. official told NPR.

Meanwhile White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee on Wednesday that “very preliminary” estimates he had seen put the cost at between $10 million and $30 million “depending on the size of the parade, the scope of it, the length of it, those kinds of things.”

“Obviously an hour parade is different than a five-hour parade in terms of the cost and the equipment and those types of things,” Mulvaney added.

Trump has said he wants to try to top the French Bastille Day parade he attended last year in Paris. It lasted just over two hours.

“We had a lot of planes going over and we had a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see,” Trump said in September describing the French parade from two months earlier. “They had representatives from different wars and different uniforms. It was really so well done.”

You can see the influence of that parade in what the White House requested the Pentagon plot out, right down to the uniforms from wars past.

According to the official, the request was for a parade that would take place on Veterans Day, with a World War I theme, featuring military aircraft, heavy armored vehicles — possibly including tanks — and troops from all the services taking part. Troops wearing World War I uniforms are also in the mix.

The last military parade through the streets of Washington, D.C., was in 1991 to celebrate victory in Operation Desert Storm. There also were parades at the conclusion of the Civil War, World War I and World War II. There isn’t a tradition of military parades in the U.S. outside of war victories and Cold War-era presidential inaugurations. And 16 years into the war in Afghanistan, there is no clear path to victory.

By potentially tying the parade to the 100th anniversary of the end of the The War To End All Wars, there may be an effort to associate with that tradition of celebrating war victories and avoid associations with countries like North Korea, China and Russia, which regularly hold military parades, in part for their propaganda value.

Members of Congress from both parties have been critical of the idea of a military parade, questioning its cost and necessity.

“I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) last week to reporters in the Capitol. “America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don’t need to show it off.”

Three White House spokesmen did not respond to a request for comment about the emerging details and cost estimates, but last week Press Secretary Sarah Sanders described the president’s motivation.

“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” she said. “He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”

References

  1. ^ Enlarge this image (media.npr.org)
0

Trump's Military Parade Could Cost As Much As $50 Million

Tanks parade past President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, on July 14 during the Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. Trump requested the Pentagon plan a similar parade for Washington, D.C., and they’ve produced five options ranging in cost from $3 million to $50 million. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Picture this: troops in vintage uniforms marching through the streets as military aircraft carve the skies overhead, all in a grand celebration of Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. That’s one scenario taking shape as the Pentagon maps out options for the military parade President Trump has requested.

In response to Trump’s request, the Department of Defense has worked up five options, with price tags ranging from $3 million to as much as $50 million, a U.S. official told NPR.

Meanwhile White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee on Wednesday that “very preliminary” estimates he had seen put the cost at between $10 million and $30 million “depending on the size of the parade, the scope of it, the length of it, those kinds of things.”

“Obviously an hour parade is different than a five-hour parade in terms of the cost and the equipment and those types of things,” Mulvaney added.

Trump has said he wants to try to top the French Bastille Day parade he attended last year in Paris, which lasted just over two hours.

“We had a lot of planes going over and we had a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see,” Trump said in September, describing the French parade from two months earlier. “They had representatives from different wars and different uniforms. It was really so well done.”

You can see the influence of that parade in what the White House requested the Pentagon plot out, right down to the uniforms from wars past.

According to the official, the request was for a parade that would take place on Veterans Day, with a World War I theme, featuring military aircraft, heavy armored vehicles — possibly including tanks — and troops from all the services taking part. Troops wearing World War I uniforms are also in the mix.

The last military parade through the streets of Washington, D.C., was in 1991, to celebrate victory in Operation Desert Storm. There also were parades at the conclusion of the Civil War, World War I and World War II. There isn’t a tradition of military parades in the U.S. outside of war victories and Cold War-era presidential inaugurations. And 16 years into the war in Afghanistan, there is no clear path to victory.

By potentially tying the parade to the 100th anniversary of the end of the War To End All Wars, there may be an effort to associate with the tradition of celebrating war victories and avoid associations with countries like North Korea, China and Russia, which regularly hold military parades, in part for their propaganda value.

Members of Congress from both parties have been critical of the idea of a military parade, questioning its cost and necessity.

“I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) last week to reporters in the Capitol. “America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don’t need to show it off.”

Three White House spokesmen did not respond to a request for comment about the emerging details and cost estimates, but last week Press Secretary Sarah Sanders described the president’s motivation.

“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe,” she said. “He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”

References

  1. ^ Enlarge this image (media.npr.org)
0

Confusion surrounds Macron's compulsory military service

Confusion surrounds Macron’s compulsory military service

French president insists all young people will serve after minister suggested scheme might be voluntary

<!–[if IE 9]><![endif]–>French President Emmanuel Macron




Emmanuel Macron made the pledge last year as part of his presidential campaign.
Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/AP

The French government is grappling with how to honour Emmanuel Macron’s controversial election promise to reintroduce compulsory military service for young people.

France’s president said this week that his new “universal national service” would include an obligatory period of between three and six months for all young people, who would take part either in the military or in a form of civic service.

Macron conceded at a meeting of political journalists that the details of the scheme, which could be piloted from 2019, had not yet been decided. He said there would be a financial cost, adding: “I don’t think it would be prohibitive – this is not about recreating massive barracks.”

There has been apparent confusion over the future shape of the conscription scheme, which would involve about 600,000 young people aged 18–21 each year.

The French armed forces minister said last week[2] that the scheme would “probably not be obligatory”. A parliamentary defence committee report on the project, seen by French media, suggests any scheme should be purely voluntary because it is neither possible nor desirable to force young people to take part. But the government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux insisted this week that “it will be universal … and it will be obligatory”.

Macron surprised the country when he announced during last year’s presidential campaign that he wanted to make all young people spend time getting “a direct experience of military life, with its knowhow and demands”.

France[3] phased out compulsory military service between 1996 and 2001. Macron, 40, is the first French president not to have been called up to serve in the army.

When he first announced the idea of bringing back compulsory military service, Macron framed it as part of France’s efforts to prepare for an era of global “turbulence” comparable to the cold war.

But the campaign promise was also seen as a way of playing up a kind of patriotic nostalgia for military service at a time of increasing social divides in France. Some in the French army[4] were concerned that providing young people with citizenship training was not the domain of the armed forces; the French military is currently stretched by operations in west Africa and the Middle East, as well as anti-terrorism operations in France.

Macron’s office has set up a working group to define the new national service, due to report in April this year.

References

  1. ^ France (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ The French armed forces minister said last week (www.franceinter.fr)
  3. ^ France (www.theguardian.com)
  4. ^ French army (www.theguardian.com)
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Ex-Iran military leader: Western nations use lizards to spy

Iran’s former military leader leveled a cold-blooded charge Tuesday — that Western spooks used lizards to “attract atomic waves” as part of their espionage on his country’s nuclear program.

Hassan Firuzabadi, top military adviser to leading mullah Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was responding to questions from local journalists on the recent arrest of environmentalists.

He said Western nations had often used tourists, scientists and environmentalists to spy on Iran.

“Several years ago, some individuals came to Iran to collect aid for Palestine… We were suspicious of the route they chose,” he told the reformist ILNA news agency, the Times of Israel reported[1].

“In their possessions were a variety of reptile desert species like lizards, chameleons… We found out that their skin attracts atomic waves and that they were nuclear spies who wanted to find out where inside the Islamic Republic of Iran we have uranium mines and where we are engaged in atomic activities,” he said.

Firuzabadi, who noted that the spies “failed every time,” made his comments amid reports that Iranian-Canadian environmentalist Kavous Seyed Emami had committed suicide in prison after he was arrested along with other members of his wildlife group last month.

Several spying allegations involving wildlife have been made against Israel in the past few years.

In January 2016, Lebanese civilians captured a griffon vulture wearing an Israeli tracking device, but released it when they realized the gadget was meant for scientific research rather than espionage.

Several months earlier, Hamas claimed to have caught a dolphin wearing Israeli spying equipment.

Turkish media also have reported about allegations that birds tagged with Israeli university tracking devices were on spy missions.

In 2012, an eagle with an Israeli tag was captured in Sudan and alleged to be a on a mission for the Jewish state’s Mossad spy agency.

Two years earlier, an Egyptian official claimed sharks somehow controlled by Israel may have been involved in several attacks on tourists in the Red Sea.

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References

  1. ^ the Times of Israel reported (www.timesofisrael.com)