Sunday, August 15, 2010

DTN News: South Korea, US To Kick Off Annual War Games

Defense News: DTN News: South Korea, US To Kick Off Annual War Games
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including The Korea Times By Jung Sung-ki
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - August 15, 2010: The militaries of South Korea and the United States will start their annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) exercise Aug. 16 amid growing tension on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s continued provocations.
The computerized simulation war games, which will run through Aug. 26, follow South Korea’s independent anti-submarine drills in the West Sea held from July 29 to Aug. 2.
Last month, South Korean and U.S. troops conducted massive air and naval readiness exercises in the East Sea in which a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier participated.
“UFG ’10, like all other major CFC exercises, is designed to improve the alliance’s ability to deter aggression and if deterrence fails, fight tonight and prevail in the ROK,” the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) said in a statement. “These exercises are designed to help teach, coach, and mentor service members on staff and leadership decision-making processes.”
This year’s UFG was supposed to be a South Korean-led exercise ahead of the previously planned transfer of wartime operational control from the United States to South Korea in 2012. With the postponement of the timeline to 2015 the exercise will be led by American commanders to ensure that the allied troops are prepared to respond to threats across the spectrum of conflict, including North Korean provocations.
“UFG ’10 is the first exercise since President Lee (Myung-bak) and President Obama announced the decision to delay the transition of wartime operational control until late 2015,” CFC Commander Gen. Walter Sharp said in the Aug. 2 “Sharp Point” posted on CFC’s official Website.
“UFG ’10 represents an excellent opportunity to develop the tenets of our Strategic Alliance 2015 Plans as we improve ROK/U.S. combat readiness and joint/combined interoperability,” said Sharp, who concurrently heads the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) and the United Nations Command (UNC).
He continued, “Like our combined exercises in the past, Ulchi Freedom Guardian affords the combined team an opportunity to continue to develop organizational structures and collaborate on command and control relationship between our militaries and our governments.”
The scope of the UFG exercise extends well beyond the peninsula and takes a whole-of-government approach.All of the alliance’s major commands participate, augmented by approximately 3,000 U.S. personnel from the U.S. mainland and U.S. bases in the Pacific region. They join over 500,000 South Korean military and government participants, 27,000 U.S. Joint Forces, and multinational representatives from the UNC.
The forces are connected by communications and computer simulation networks that span from locations in South Korea to Washington, D.C. and U.S. military headquarters around the world.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News,

DTN News: Israel To Buy World's Most Advanced Warplane

Defense News: DTN News: Israel To Buy World's Most Advanced Warplane
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - August 15, 2010: Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday approved the purchase of a fleet of US-built F-35 strike fighters in a move set to ramp up the capabilities of the Israeli Air Force.
The minister "approved in principle" a recommendation by the military to purchase the F-35 or Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a statement from his office said.
Israel is initially expected to buy 20 of the aircraft in a deal worth an estimated 2.75 billion dollars, the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily said in several reports published last week.
Should the deal be approved by the security cabinet, it will be the most expensive weapons deal ever signed by the Jewish state, it said.
"The F-35 is the fighter plane of the future which will give the air force better short-range and long-range capabilities which will help state security," Barak said in the statement.
Delivery of the first F-35s, which are still not yet operational, is expected only in 2015, the paper said.
The price includes the cost of setting up a logistical infrastructure in Israel to allow local firms to assemble the fighter plane and manufacture spare parts for it.
Udi Shani, defence ministry director general, said a key element of the deal was an agreement which would allow Israeli industries to get involved in the assembly of the plane and the manufacture of spares.
"The considerations for approving the deal were not just about the operational abilities of the plane but the agreements for involving Israeli industries in the assembly of the plane," the ministry quoted him as saying.
Acquisition of the F-35, which is made by US aerospace and defence giant Lockheed Martin, will give Israel access to stealth technology that will provide it with air superiority over enemy anti-aircraft defences.


DTN News: British Army To Use 'Dirty Harry' Bullet Against The Taliban

Defense News: DTN News: British Army To Use 'Dirty Harry' Bullet Against The Taliban
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including By Christopher Leake
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 15, 2010: British troops are to be issued with a new 'super-bullet' to fight the Taliban as their current ammunition does not have the punch to kill the enemy at long range.

The high-performance round will be fired from standard-issue SA80 assault rifles. Nicknamed the 'Dirty Harry round' after the powerful bullets used by Clint Eastwood in the 1971 movie, it is expected to be on the front line in Afghanistan by 2011.

Its development by UK defence firms BAE Systems and QinetiQ follows Army concern in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, last year that the standard 5.56mm SA80 round was failing to hit its target at distances of more than 400 yards.

British troops are to be issued with a new 'super-bullet' to fight the Taliban as their current ammunition does not have the punch to kill the enemy at long range

British troops are to be issued with a new 'super-bullet' to fight the Taliban as their current ammunition does not have the punch to kill the enemy at long range

The Taliban use more powerful rounds in Russian-designed AK-47 rifles to hit British forces at a range of 600 yards. Now the British troops' new round will even up the odds.

The new bullet gives greater range and force against human targets and light vehicles. Because it is the same calibre as the standard bullet, the SA80 rifle will not need modification.

Military sources say initial trials have been successful. Pending formal approval, the MoD is expected to order up to one million rounds.

A senior Royal Marines officer just back from Afghanistan said the new bullet would be welcomed on the front line.

He said: 'It will give our infantry soldiers an edge which at present we are lacking.' An MoD spokeswoman said: 'We work closely with industry to ensure equipment is continuously improved.'

*Link to this article from source; "British Army To Use 'Dirty Harry' Bullet Against The Taliban - By Christopher Leake"
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News,

DTN News: Today In World ~ In India's Jammu & Kashmir State, Rocks Are Weapon Of Choice

Defense News: DTN News: Today In World ~ In India's Jammu & Kashmir State, Rocks Are Weapon Of Choice
* For a generation of angry young men caught up in a decades-long territorial dispute, lobbing stones in protest has proved deadly, as some Indian forces respond with bullets.
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times - Reporting from Srinagar, India(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 15, 2010: Down a 15-foot-wide alley of shuttered shops in Srinagar's Batmaloo neighborhood, stone-throwing protesters and police face off under a blazing midday sun. Most of the rocks thrown by demonstrators miss their mark, but when one lands, a loud cheer erupts.
Dozens of officers, some with slingshots, answer in kind, roaring with glee whenever their projectiles strike protester flesh.

While this may look like a collection of overgrown children, it's a decidedly deadly game. At least 57 protesters have been killed since early June — including two Saturday — by security forces opening fire who opted for guns over stones against unruly mobs. Hundreds more police officers, paramilitary members and civilians have been injured here in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, part of a disputed region that's sparked two wars betweenPakistan and India since 1947.
"That was a close one," said a policeman as a rock grazed his padded leg. "They're better shots, because we have to lug these guns."
Kashmir, which has witnessed more than 47,000 deaths among militants, civilians and security personnel since 1989, is experiencing its worst social unrest in a generation.
"A volcano is coming up," said Bashir Siddique, an attorney who has defended 11 stone throwers. "It can anytime burst."
The broader dispute over divided Kashmir has been going on for so long, with so many entrenched interests, that few see an obvious solution.
This month, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledged in a speech the pain and anger many Kashmiris feel. He pledged to organize a group of experts to explore political solutions, and he urged economic development to encourage young people to pick up jobs, not stones.
Armed militancy in Kashmir, which peaked in 1990, has dropped sharply in recent years as rocks replace guns for a new generation of angry young men.
That's left critics here questioning why 650,000 members of the Indian security forces remain — one for every eight residents — and why stones are answered with bullets when other nations routinely defuse civil unrest without fatalities.
Of the at least 57 recent civilian deaths, nearly half were minors, one as young as 9.
Security officials counter that stone throwers — "gun-less terrorists," said one commander — are well organized and probably directed and funded by Pakistan-leaning insurgent groups.
"Police have to fire on instigators," said Taj Mohiuddin, a state minister. "There are interests and external forces responsible for this."
Local anger, meanwhile, remains palpable. On a recent morning a few blocks from the Batmaloo faceoff, several hundred young men gathered at a bypass, burning tires, upending planters and yelling "azadi!" — freedom — after a 17-year-old was allegedly fatally shot by police.
Several covered their faces to prevent identification by police photographers. "It's not because I'm a militant and have a gun," said a college student, 23, who called himself Sufi. "If I don't wear this mask, the Indian dogs will come to my house and beat us."
Protesters now tend to be better educated, informed and adept at using social networking sites, including Facebook's "Im a Kashmiri Stone Pelter," than in the past.
Although several Kashmiris lauded the prime minister's speech, they said Kashmir needs results, not more committees.
How New Delhi proceeds now could greatly influence a generation at a crossroads, many without outlets or opportunities in this tightly monitored society.
"Sometimes I feel they should have boxing rings or some way to work out their anger," said Zulfiqar Hussein, an attorney. "The same guys who can pick up stones can pick up guns. Something has to be done."
Kani jung, or throwing stones in anger, probably dates to caveman days in Kashmir, as elsewhere. Residents probably used gulail, a device that propels stones from bowed sticks, to defend themselves against 16th century Mughal invaders, said M.A. Wani, a medieval history professor at the University of Kashmir.
Rival Kashmiri parties have used rocks on each other, and at various times, Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and last British Viceroy Louis Mountbatten received "projectile greetings" during Kashmir visits.
"Now women are using stones, not just young men," said Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a University of Kashmir law professor. "And it's transcending generations."
One structural problem, analysts said, is that many security officers are trained to kill insurgents, not control crowds. Residents add that many Indians view Kashmiris as spoiled whiners with militant leanings.
"Villagers blame us for everything," said a paramilitary member who declined to be identified. "We're here to protect them, but they like Pakistan. We're just trying to feed our family. We don't want a fight."
At Srinagar's Nowhatta police station, the preferred tool against rock throwers for years has been an armored vehicle nicknamed Rani, with an iron-netted windshield and a chassis pockmarked with dents.
"Hundreds and hundreds of stones were thrown on her, but she never stopped or gave up on me," said officer Nisar Ahmed, 38, who compared the sound inside during attacks to a fierce hailstorm. "I thank Allah, I love her more than my children."
Studies suggest that there's no single stone-thrower type, with some motivated by youthful machismo, others by a sense of belonging, others incensed at the death of loved ones.
Hoping to blunt this fury, security officials have tried cricket matches, community policing, even debates among Kashmir's mostly Muslim population on whether stone throwing is Islamic.
In recent weeks, they have also rounded up at least 932 young men, charging some with attempted murder or public safety violations, allowing for up to two years' detention without trial.
Under Indian law, minors must be placed in juvenile detention centers. But Kashmir has none, so some are housed with hardened criminals, even Islamic militants, human rights officials said, and exposed to police mistreatment.
American author Arthur Ward once said that stones can be thrown, complained about, climbed over or used for building. After a summer of discontent, many in Kashmir wonder where down what path the stones will take them.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: