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The National Defense Strategy describes how the Defense Department will be postured to be successful in the great power competition with Russia and China, the Army chief of staff said. In two words, the National Defense Strategy is to be strong and innovative in order to deter conflict or to win if diplomacy and deterrence fail, Army Gen. James C. McConville said. David Vergun, Defense.gov, reports on U.S. Army’s website.

On January 14, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper hosted Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono at the Pentagon, where they reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and reflected on its evolution since the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security sixty years ago.

NATO nations cannot afford to become complacent, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said during a break in his first alliance Military Committee meeting in Brussels. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley said people need to remember why NATO began in 1949. Jim Garamone reports on DoD News.

The United States must maintain overmatch — be stronger, better armed, or more skillful than its adversaries, the Army secretary said at the Brooking Institution in Washington. Ryan D. McCarthy addressed Indo-Pacific region Army strategy at the nonprofit public policy organization today. "Our modernization focus — how we fight, what we fight with and who we are — is in part driven by new challenges and potential adversaries," he said. Terrri Moon Cronk reports on DoD News.

Russia’s 2019 defense budget reached USD48 billion. Russia is reported to be at the 8th position in the Top 10 list of the countries with the largest defense expenditures in 2019. Compared to 2018, Russia retained its place, increased defense budget by only USD1 billion.

Military and civilian dignitaries from Europe and the United States were in Belgium on Sunday 15 and Monday 16 December to mark the anniversary of one of the most important battles of World War II: the Battle of the Bulge. "There are times we must say, 'No,'" King Philippe of Belgium said in Bastogne, Belgium. "'No' to the extreme evil perpetrated by a hateful ideology. This is what we did together 75 years ago." The Belgian people remember their American liberators, the king said, pointing to six veterans of the battle who were attending the ceremony. Jim Garamone reports on Defense.gov.

On 16 December, the European Defence Agency published its annual Defence Data report for the year 2018, detailing spending by the 27 EDA Member States. Total defence expenditure stands at €223 billion, representing a 3% increase on 2017 and marks the fifth consecutive year of increased defence spending. EDA’s report also finds that Member States are not meeting spending commitments in key areas.

South Korea and North Korea increase the size and accelerate the pace of modernization of their arsenals in the framework of rising tensions between both countries and with the U.S.A., as easily foreseeable by anybody having a basic understanding of intelligence interpretation.

Even if the report used for the following analysis is more than one year old, its content makes it a remarkable instrument to understand the Russian defense evolution in terms of technical feasibility and financial affordability. Since then, Army Recognition published a lot of information enabling to validate this precious analysis that was carried on by Julian Cooper, Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies, University of Birmingham/Associate Senior Fellow, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Extracts of his report addressing Army Recognition’s concerns have been selected hereunder.

“The Marine Corps is not optimized to meet the bold demands of the National Defense Strategy”, Gen. David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps Headquarters, has declared. “While our ranks are filled with phenomenal marines — warriors who are smarter and more adaptable than ever — the design of our force, how we organize for combat, our equipment, and our warfighting capabilities, are no longer aligned to the potential adversaries America faces. My number one priority as commandant of the Marine Corps is to design a force suited to the reality of the pacing threat as prescribed by the National Defense Strategy”.

The U.S. military presence in Iraq is predicated on permission to be there from the Iraqi government, and U.S. forces will remain so long as the Iraqi government agrees, the undersecretary of defense for policy said. "Our intention is to stay. Do we plan to change the posture of U.S. forces? Not at this time," said John C. Rood, who spoke yesterday during a Defense Writers Group meeting in Washington. "We are very clear that we are there with the permission of the Iraqi government," Rood said. "And that is a necessary condition for U.S. forces to be there."

The NATO leaders’ meeting marking the 70th anniversary of the Alliance wrapped up in London on Wednesday (4 December 2019). After the working session, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Our meeting has once again demonstrated that NATO remains the only place where Europe and North America discuss, decide and act every day together on strategic issues that concern our shared security”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired the third meeting on the development of the armed forces. "The effectiveness of the Navy and the armed forces, in general, depends on timely information obtained from spacecraft and reliable operation of navigational and communication systems, integration of all information resources, capabilities of artificial intelligence on the battlefield. We shall consider the complicated issues which are closed for the public," the president said.

U.S. forces are reset and repostured in Eastern Syria and have restarted operations with the Syrian Democratic Forces aimed at defeating ISIS, Army Lt. Gen. Robert White, the commander of Combined Joint Operation Inherent Resolve, said last week in Baghdad. Jim Garamone reports on U.S. Army’s website.

On Friday, Nov.29, the German parliament (Bundestag) passed its budget for 2020. At the heart of the budget presented by finance minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) is a massive increase in military spending, Johannes Stern reports on wsws.org. Five years ago, at the Munich Security Conference in 2014, the grand coalition announced Germany’s return to an aggressive foreign and great power policy. The far-reaching consequences of such a policy are increasingly reflected in the current budget.

Pantsir and Tor antiaircraft guns have to down cruise missiles, aircraft and drones. Formally, they need a brief stopover to fire. However, Syrian combat experience showed they have to destroy the attacking force in motion, e.g. if kamikaze drones attack. The assaults are mortally dangerous for marching hardware, the Izvestia daily writes.

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