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Posts Tagged ‘Military’

US cannot accept China military power: state media

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:10 am

BEIJING, Jan 7, 2011 (AFP) – China will eventually have a military powerful enough to compete with the United States, state media said Friday ahead of the visit of US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

The claim in a newspaper editorial followed reports that China had completed a prototype of a stealth fighter and after a top US military official said Beijing was stepping up efforts to deploy a “carrier-killer” missile system.

“Whether the reported new weapons are true or not, in the long run, China will own first-class weapons that are capable of competing with the US war machine,” said the Global Times, known for its nationalist tone.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (R) meets with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the United Nations headquarters in New York, January 6, 2011. AFP

Gates arrives in China on Sunday to smooth over tense defence relations between the two countries — one year after Beijing cut military ties with Washington in protest against US arms sales to rival Taiwan.

“Apparently, the US is not ready to treat China as a major power. They cannot accept the fact that China will sooner or later possess a first-class military,” the editorial said.

“They are too used to the old power structure, in which China and other developing countries have long been treated unfairly.”

In an interview last week with a Japanese newspaper, the head of the US Pacific Command Admiral Robert Willard said China was pushing development of “carrier-killers” and aimed to project its influence beyond its regional waters.

US military analysts have warned China is developing an anti-ship ballistic missile — a new version of its Dongfeng 21 missile — that could pierce the defences of even the most sturdy US naval vessels and has a range far beyond Chinese waters.

Whereas Gates’s Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie has said that China will push forward with modernisation of its military thanks to a booming economy, the United States is facing major cuts.

Citing “dire” fiscal pressures, Gates on Thursday proposed deeper cuts than planned in US military programmes, scaling back ground forces for the first time since the 1990s.

Gates, in a compromise with the White House, said the 78 billion dollars in cuts and other measures would result in a slower pace of growth in defence budgets over the next five years, despite earlier plans to keep spending at a higher rate.

China has long described its military build-up as “defensive” in nature but top armed forces officials have recently made increasingly strong statements about its quest for a powerful military. 

Source: SGGP

S.Korea readies major military drill near tense border

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:29 am

SEOUL, Dec 22, 2010 (AFP) – South Korea prepared Wednesday for a major live-fire drill involving fighter jets and tanks near the tense North Korean border, as Seoul and Washington reacted warily to overtures from Pyongyang.

South Korea’s military said Thursday’s ground and air firing exercise 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the mainland border would also involve self-propelled guns and 800 soldiers.

The South Korean Navy MSB (Movement Sea Base) floats off the coast of South Korea-controlled island of Yeonpyeong near the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea on December 22, 2010. AFP

Although similar drills have been held at the same firing range at Pocheon many times before, the latest exercise comes with Seoul on high alert for a possible attack from its wayward neighbour.

South Korea’s navy meanwhile began a four-day firing drill Wednesday off the east coast, a relatively distant 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the border with the North, mobilising six warships plus helicopters.

The military said it would practise responses to intrusions by North Korean submarines and patrol boats.

And South Korean marines were posted to guard a Christmas tree that was lit up Tuesday near the land border, reflecting fears that the North might fire on the display as a propaganda symbol.

Tensions have been high since the North shelled an island near the contested western maritime border last month in response to a live-fire drill by the South. The bombardment of Yeonpyeong killed four people including civilians.

The South staged a repeat drill on Yeonpyeong Monday but the North did not go through with threats to hit back, saying it “did not feel any need to retaliate against every despicable military provocation”.

A senior South Korean military commander said Thursday’s drill at the Pocheon range would “demonstrate our solid military preparedness”.

“We will retaliate thoroughly if the North commits another provocative act like the shelling of Yeonpyeong,” First Armoured Battalion commander Choo Eun-Sik told Yonhap news agency.

The North’s comments late Monday eased fears of war on the peninsula, and it also reportedly offered nuclear concessions to visiting US politician Bill Richardson.

But Seoul and Washington have expressed scepticism about the apparent overtures, coming after an intense bout of sabre-rattling from Pyongyang, whose hardline communist regime is undergoing a generational power shift.

The United States said that North Korea was not even “remotely ready” to resume six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, despite the apparent concessions offered to New Mexico Governor Richardson on his private trip.

The White House made clear there was no change to US policy, despite Pyongyang’s reported offer to re-admit UN nuclear inspectors and sell off fuel rods which could be used to produce plutonium.

President Barack Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs said Pyongyang had, over many years and different US administrations, failed to match its words with actions.

“We’re not going to get a table and a room and have six-party talks just for the feel-good notion of having six-party talks,” he said.

“When and if the North Koreans are ever serious about living up to their obligations, then we can think about restarting six-party talks.”

North Korea pulled out of the nuclear talks — which involve the two Koreas, the United States, Russia, China, and Japan — in April 2009 and ordered UN nuclear inspectors out of the country.

It staged a second nuclear test a month later.

Its disclosure last month of an advanced uranium enrichment plant — purportedly to serve a peaceful nuclear power programme — heightened regional security fears.

Richardson, a veteran troubleshooter with the North who was formerly a US ambassador to the UN, unveiled Pyongyang’s apparent concessions after a visit that the White House stressed was unofficial and independent.

Source: SGGP

Obama to sign end to military gay ban

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

 The United States stood on the cusp of letting gays serve openly in its military for the first time, as the US Congress sent President Barack Obama a bill to bring about the historic shift.

Senators voted 65-31 to approve House-passed legislation to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” compromise of 1993 requiring gay soldiers to keep quiet about their sexual orientation or face dismissal.

“It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed,” said Obama, who vowed during his 2008 White House bid to lift the ban.

Obama was expected to sign the measure this week with great fanfare, launching a White House and Pentagon certification process to ensure the smoothest possible transition at a time when Washington is fighting two wars.

Eight of the White House’s Republican foes backed the change — perhaps the biggest such shift in the US military since racial integration began in 1948 — while three Republicans and one Democrat missed the vote.

The measure, its passage assured when it cleared a procedural hurdle by a 63-33 margin earlier, fueled bitterly divisive debate in the already polarized Senate.

“The first casualty in the war in Iraq was a gay soldier. The mine that took off his right leg didn’t give a darn whether he was gay or straight. We shouldn’t either,” Democratic Senator Carl Levin said before the ballot.

“We cannot let these patriots down. Their suffering should end. It will end with the passage of this bill. I urge its passage today,” said Levin, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“It isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” countered Senator John McCain, the top Republican on Levin’s panel and Obama’s defeated 2008 White House rival and a fierce foe of lifting the ban.

“To somehow allege that it has harmed our military is not justified by the facts,” McCain said. “Don’t think that it won’t be at great cost.”

Passage triggered a time-consuming process that calls for lifting the ban only after the president, the secretary of defense, and the top US uniformed officer certify that doing so can be done without harming military readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention.

Republicans have scoffed that the leaders involved have already stated their support to ending the policy.

“They have already made up their minds,” said Republican Senator James Inhofe.

The Pentagon issued a study this month that found a solid majority of troops were not bothered by the prospect of lifting the ban and that the military could implement the change without a major disruption or upheaval.

The repeal effort enjoyed broad support from the US public, as well as from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and US Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen.

Gates — who had warned that US courts would step in and perhaps force a hasty end to the policy unless lawmakers acted — said the Pentagon would “carry out this change carefully and methodically, but purposefully.”

Mullen, whose emotional February testimony to Congress in favor of repeal has been credited as a signal moment, said ending the ban was “the right thing to do.”

“No longer will able men and women who want to serve and sacrifice for their country have to sacrifice their integrity to do so,” he said, promising: “We will be a better military as a result.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose husband Bill had enacted the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy when he was president, said the repeal would strengthen US support for human rights internationally.

Activists listen during a rally on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on Capitol Hill, December 10.

“This is a historic step forward for all Americans, a step toward a more perfect union and a more perfect reflection of our core values,” she said.

In the years since the ban was enacted as a compromise, some 13,000 US troops have been ousted, and critics have pointed out that many were trained at great expense, like fighter pilots, or had hard-to-find skills, such as Arabic translators.

But opponents of the legislation have cited testimony from US military service chiefs who warned against a quick repeal, citing concerns about unit cohesion.

General James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps and an opponent of lifting the ban, has warned repeal could jeopardize the lives of Marines in combat by undermining closely knit units.

Newly minted Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senators Jim Bunning, Judd Gregg, and Orrin Hatch did not vote on repeal.

Source: SGGP

Gold Star Order for Military Zone 7

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:46 am

On its 65th anniversary, Military Zone 7 was presented with the Gold Star Order for the second time in its 65 year history.

Established in 1945, military zone 7 has constantly made great effort in fulfilling its political and military mission and continuously contributed to the country’s defence and military reconstruction.

Zone 7 was the core backbone of the main armed forces of the South and contributed greatly towards many triumphant victories during the resistant wars.

On the occasion of the 65th anniversary the zone’s 29 teams and 3 individuals were granted the title of Hero of the people’s armed forces.

Sai Gon Giai Phong showed visuals of the daily life and training methods of soldiers during peacetime.


Military Zone 7 soldiers during routine training

Drill at training ground

Soldiers are ready to struggle


Soldiers conduct the patrol on the sea

Overflow with joy or pleasure

Soldiers gather by water well

Source: SGGP

Nigerian military frees 19 hostages

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 6:56 am

S.Korea kicks off military drill despite threats

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2010 at 7:21 am

South Korea on Thursday launched its largest-ever anti-submarine exercise including live-fire training near the disputed sea border with North Korea, despite Pyongyang’s threats of retaliation.

The South has warned the North it will not tolerate provocations during the five-day naval drill in the Yellow Sea, being staged in response to what it says was a deadly North Korean torpedo attack on a warship.

South Korean Marines on patrol on Baengnyeong island near the border with North Korea in March 2010.

“This is the largest anti-submarine exercise in our military history, involving the army, navy, air force and marines,” a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) spokesman told AFP.

South Korea is mobilising 4,500 troops, backed by top-of-the-line war machines including 29 ships such as submarines and destroyers and 50 aircraft including jet fighters and attack helicopters.

The exercise comes eight days after South Korea and the United States ended a massive joint naval and air drill in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) as a show of force against the North.

Pyongyang has angrily denied responsibility for the March sinking of the corvette the Cheonan, which claimed the lives of 46 sailors and sharply raised tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The JCS said the latest exercise is “defensive” in nature, focused on repelling attacks by sea, including those by the North’s feared commandoes riding hovercrafts.

Marines stationed on islands near the disputed Yellow Sea border with the North would stage live-fire battery exercises but the guns will be trained southwest.

“We don’t fire toward the sea border, even if the North does sometimes in provocative acts,” the JCS spokesman said.

Anti-submarine training involving torpedo and depth charge firing will also take place in the Yellow Sea but far south of the border, he added.

“Except for the batteries on the islands, you won’t hear much of the sound of live fire in the sea near the border,” he said.

This week’s exercise is one of a raft of drills planned by the South separately or jointly with its ally the United States in the aftermath of the sinking of the Cheonan.

A multinational investigation concluded that the warship had been torpedoed by one of the North’s submarines near the border in the Yellow Sea, the scene of several naval clashes in the past.

Pyongyang vehemently denies involvement but Washington slapped it with new sanctions to punish it for the alleged attack and to push it to scrap its nuclear weapons programme.

The North’s military Tuesday blasted this week’s exercise as a “direct military invasion” and warned “reckless naval firing” by the South would be countered “with strong physical retaliation.”

“Raising issue with the legitimate, defensive exercise is a provocation in itself,” said Rear Admiral Kim Kyung-Sik of South Korea’s JCS said Wednesday. “Our armed forces will closely monitor enemy movements during these drills.”

The sinking of the Cheonan deepened an emerging Cold-War style confrontation between China and North Korea on one side and the United States and South Korea on the other.

China last week staged a large naval and air exercise on its southeast coast — just as South Korea and the United States conducted their own naval drill — and on Tuesday launched large-scale air defence manoeuvres.

China is North Korea’s closest ally and trade partner and has refused to join in international condemnation of Pyongyang over the warship sinking.

Beijing had expressed concern about the US-South Korea exercise, which was initially supposed to be held in the Yellow Sea separating China and the Korean peninsula but was relocated to the Sea of Japan after Beijing’s protests.

China has warned against further actions it says could raise tensions in the region.

Source: SGGP

N.Korea to hold more talks with US military on ship sinking

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 at 11:18 am

SEOUL, July 29, 2010 (AFP) – North Korea and the US-led United Nations Command will hold more talks Friday about the sinking of a South Korean warship, two days after the end of a major military exercise denounced by Pyongyang.

Colonels from the two sides will meet at 10 am (0100 GMT) at the border truce village of Panmunjom, the UN Command said in a statement.

South Korean army officers gather as they plan a military exercise in Seoul on July 28, 2010. AFP

Cross-border tensions have risen sharply since South Korea and the United States accused the North in late May of torpedoing the ship near the disputed inter-Korean border with the loss of 46 lives.

US and South Korean forces Wednesday wrapped up a four-day naval and air exercise — the first in a series — which they said was intended to warn the North against further attacks.

“These defensive, combined training exercises are designed to send a clear message to North Korea that its aggressive behavior must stop,” said General Walter Sharp in a statement.

Sharp commands the 28,500 US troops in South Korea as well as heading the UN Command, which has been based in the South since the end of the 1950-53 war to enforce the armistice which ended the conflict.

North Korea vehemently denies any role in sinking the Cheonan corvette in March, but agreed to hold talks with the UN Command about the incident. It fiercely denounced this week’s war games and threatened military retaliation.

At a previous meeting at Panmunjom the North demanded to send a high-level team to the South to inspect evidence dredged from the seabed.

Seoul has displayed part of what it says is a North Korean torpedo to support its contention that its neighbour was to blame for the warship attack.

It has rejected the North’s demand to send investigators, saying the UN Command should handle the case as a serious breach of the armistice.

When the talks were last held on July 23, the two sides discussed forming a joint group to assess the circumstances of and evidence on the sinking.

Source: SGGP

Outstanding military individuals and units honoured

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Outstanding military individuals and units honoured

QĐND – Thursday, July 01, 2010, 21:23 (GMT+7)

PANO – The 8th ‘Determine – to – Win’ Congress of the Army opened in Hanoi on June 29th with the participation of more than 600 outstanding individuals and units of the army who have distinguished themselves in the emulation movement.

Leaders of the State, the Government and the National Assembly, the Defence Ministry and representatives from units in the whole army were also present at the event.

Addressing the Congress, General Le Van Dung, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Director of the Vietnam People’s Army General Political Department, reviewed the ‘Determine – to – Win’ emulation movement in the past five years and praised individuals and teams for their outstanding achievements in the campaign.

Over these past five years, results of the ‘Determine-to-Win’ emulation movement have contributed to the consolidation and development of the army. Many outstanding individuals and units of the army have set bright examples for others to follow.

Speaking at the event, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong stressed that emulation tasks play an important role in the army’s activities. He highly appreciated these achievements of outstanding individuals and teams in the movement, which have contributed to the national construction and defence.

On behalf of the Defense Ministry, General Phung Quang Thanh thanked directions from the Party, the Government and the National Assembly. He emphasised that the Ministry of Defence will continue to carry out the emulation movement better in coming years.

On this occasion, 44 units and individuals were presented with the titles of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces and Labour Hero in the Renovation Process. Many other titles were presented to outstanding army units.

Duy Minh

Source: QDND

Huge blast in Kabul as US military chief visits: witnesses

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

KABUL, June 26, 2010 (AFP) – A huge blast was heard in the Afghan capital Saturday as a US military chief arrived for meetings to explain the sacking of the US commander of foreign forces in the country, witnesses told AFP.

The blast took place in the centre of the city at 9.55 am (0525 GMT), witnesses said.

A spokesman for the interior ministry, Zemarai Bashery, said he had heard the blast, the cause of which was being investigated.

It seemed to have taken place near the foreign ministry, he said.

The blast happened after US Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Kabul late Friday on a mission to reassure Afghan leaders following the sacking of the top commander in Kabul.

Mullen was set to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the presidential office confirmed, after US General Stanley McChrystal was sacked for insubordination.

During his one-day visit, Mullen was also set to meet US and NATO officials, the US embassy said.

The blast, if confirmed as a bombing by Taliban-linked insurgents, would be the first attack in the capital since a peace conference held on June 2.

Sirens could be heard wailing across the city as emergency services and police rushed to the site, near the presidential palace, where Karzai was set to hold a press conference on drugs.

His meeting with Mullen was set for later in the day, during which Mullen was expected to explain the circumstances leading up to McChrystal’s sacking and reassure Karzai that a change of leadership did not mean a change of tactics.

“My message will be clear. Nothing changes about our strategy. Nothing changes about the mission,” said Mullen at a press conference in Washington before his departure for Afghanistan and Pakistan on Thursday.

General David Petraeus has been appointed as the new commander, a move that Defense Secretary Robert Gates said was the “best possible outcome to an awful situation”.

Speaking at the same press conference as Mullen, Gates said there was progress in the Afghan war — the administration’s latest bid to defend the mission as foreign troop casualties hit record highs.

NATO announced overnight the death of another alliance soldier following an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan, bringing to three the number killed on Friday.

June has become the deadliest month of the war since it began in late 2001, with 84 foreign troop deaths, according to an AFP tally based on that kept by

This year 304 foreign soldiers have been killed — already the second highest annual total in the war — under McChrystal’s strategy to pour tens of thousands of extra troops into Afghanistan to take the fight to the Taliban.

McChrystal won early praise for a drop in civilian casualties as he attempted to win popular trust, at the same time working hard to bring Karzai on board.

His dismissal was met with dismay in Kabul, where Afghans and foreign diplomats praised his efforts to change the course of the war.

There are 140,000 troops in Afghanistan, with the number set to peak at 150,000 by August, in hopes to force an end to the insurgency with a surge of efforts in the southern province of Kandahar, the Taliban’s heartland.

Obama said in Washington that Petraeus, well regarded for his role in turning around the Iraq war, would be able to hit the ground running due to his work on Afghanistan as head of Central Command, which oversees both war zones.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said meanwhile Friday he wanted troops home from Afghanistan before the next British general elections, due by 2015.

“We can’t be there for another five years, having been there for nine years already,” Cameron, who took office last month, told Sky News television, on the sidelines of a Group of Eight summit.

Source: SGGP

US military supports HIV/AIDS program in Nha Trang

In Uncategorized on June 4, 2010 at 10:24 am

A new HIV/AIDS program opened in Nha Trang on June 2 as part of a cooperation program between the militaries of the United States and Vietnam.

Located at Hospital 87 in the central province of Khanh Hoa, the Blood Safety Center receives technical and financial support from the U.S. Department of Defense through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Lieutenant General Chu Tien Cuong (4, L) and Rear Admiral Michael H. Anderson (2,R) cut the ribbon to open the program (Photo: QDND)

The center will provide safe blood products and voluntary counseling and testing services to both civilian and military populations from Khanh Hoa and neighboring provinces.

Rear Admiral Michael H. Anderson, U.S. Navy Surgeon General from the Pacific Command, and Lieutenant General Chu Tien Cuong, Director of the Military Medicine Department, Vietnam Ministry of Defense, cut the ribbon to open the program.

“PEPFAR currently supports five Blood Safety centers throughout our country’s military medical system. Together we collect and produce tens of thousands of safe blood units, and we’ve been able to provide a better overall quality of care,” said Lieutenant General Chu Tien Cuong at the ceremony.

Rear Admiral Michael H. Anderson said blood donation was “the gift of life.”

“There is nothing more honorable than giving of one’s self to improve the health and well-being of someone else,” he said.

He said the collaborative efforts between the U.S Department of Defense and the Vietnam Military Medical Department had been highly successful so far.

“Together we can feel gratified that we have made the Vietnam military HIV/AIDS program a model program that other programs in the Pacific area can emulate.”

Since 2004, the United States has provided over $400 million for comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment and support programs across Vietnam through PEPFAR.

Source: SGGP