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Britain’s Ministry of Defence: “Afghan Lives Are Cheap”. Humanity and Criminality has Plummeted to...

The contempt with which “liberated” Afghans are treated by the British Ministry of Defence has been revealed in figures obtained by the (London) Independent...
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Video: Kurdish forces allow ISIS to escape Raqqa towards Palmyra – Russian Defense Ministry...

A Russian Defence Ministry source says, Kurdish forces have allowed ISIS an open corridor to flee the besieged city of Raqqa in Syria. Russian...

Party of Defence? Tory government plans to strip soldiers of their rights, inquiry told

Published time: 24 Apr, 2017 12:45 Attempts by the government to remove the UK from certain...
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Video: Russia is ‘stronger than any potential aggressor’ – Putin to Defense Ministry

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was "now stronger than any potential aggressor" during the annual expanded meeting of the Russian Defence ... Via...

UK embassies adopt war footing with expanded Defence Attaché scheme

British military personnel will be attached to embassies in increased numbers in line with a...

‘Limited’ military communication with Russia still in place — UK Defence Secretary

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has acknowledged that "limited military-to-military engagement" with Russia is still in place — not with regards to Syria operations,...

UK defence secretary admits flouting parliamentary ban on military involvement in Syrian war

By Chris Marsden It should have been an occasion of high political drama of national import. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon had been forced to answer opposition...

Ex-UK minister of defence and former army chief of staff named in Iraq war...

Jean Shaoul  RINF Alternative News Britain has been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague over allegations of war crimes committed during the...

Japanese defence minister’s Indian visit strengthens military ties

Deepal Jayasekera RINF Alternative News A four-day visit by Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera to India this week underscored moves by Tokyo to integrate New...

Japan’s new defence documents target China

By John Chan16 December 2013 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government unveiled new 10-year National Defence Guidelines and the country's first National Security Strategy...

Japan steps up campaign against Chinese air defence zone

By Peter Symonds10 December 2013 The Japanese government is stepping up its campaign against China's declaration last month of an air defence identification zone...

Japan steps up campaign against Chinese air defence zone

By Peter Symonds10 December 2013 The Japanese government is stepping up its campaign against China's declaration last month of an air defence identification zone...

Al-Qaeda claims attack on Yemen defense ministry

bbc.co.ukDecember 6, 2013 Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has said it was behind an attack on Yemen's defence ministry on Thursday that left 52...

Military “Drone Club”: Europe to Boost its Defence Potential

Photo: dw.de On November 20 Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said that Russian government's spending for procurement of military equipment will increase by 25...

Chinese Fighters Shadow US and Japanese Warplanes in Disputed Air Defence Identification Zone

The Chinese air force yesterday scrambled Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets after a dozen American and Japanese military aircraft entered the air defence identification...

China’s Air Defence Identification Zone

The Chinese are certainly getting cocky in the cockpit, though they are doing so with occasional moments of refrain. Beijing claimed on Thursday...

Tensions escalate over Chinese air defence zone

By John Chan29 November 2013 Tensions continued to rise in the East China Sea yesterday after Japan and South Korea dispatched military aircraft into...

US sends B-52s to China’s air defence zone

By John Chan27 November 2013 In a deliberately provocative move, the US announced yesterday that two B-52 strategic bombers conducted a training mission over...

China announces “air defence identification zone” in East China Sea

By John Chan25 November 2013 In a move that has heightened tensions with Japan and the United States, the Chinese Defence Ministry announced over...

Drone Warfare in Afghanistan Challenged in UK Court. British Ministry of Defense on...

Drone Wars UK to challenge UK drone secrecy in court A two-day Information Tribunal will take place in central London on 23 and 24...

UK Ministry of Defense Stockpiling Ammo

Chris HughesThe MirrorJuly 20, 2013 Defence chiefs have wasted half a million pounds on bullets that...

‘More UK defence jobs to be axed’

British Ministry of Defence (MoD) will be forced to cut more civilian jobs as part of the UKâ„¢s Chancellor George Osborne spending review this...

‘More defence cuts could undermine UK’

British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said further defence cuts could undermine the countryâ„¢s military capability, adding that he wants an Å“adult conversation” with...

Defence cuts ‘close to the bone’

The armed forces cannot afford any further spending cuts if Britain is to maintain its ability to project military power around the globe, a former defence minister has warned.

Sir Nick Harvey, who lost his job as armed forces minister in last year's reshuffle, said the forces risked being reduced to little more than a home guard if the defence budget was squeezed any further.

In an interview with Parliament's The House magazine, Sir Nick, a Liberal Democrat, said the Royal Navy already had too few warships to carry out all the tasks allotted to it. He also questioned whether the Treasury really would come up with the £20 billion needed to replace the Trident submarine fleet which carries Britain's nuclear deterrent.

His intervention comes after Downing Street was forced to admit last week that the Ministry of Defence would not be immune from further cuts in the 2015-16 spending review.

"You can cut and cut and cut and cut until there's nothing left, but you will cease to have coherence and you will cease to have the ability to deploy a worthwhile number in a conflict situation if you take it much further. We're pretty close to the bone anyway. I don't think we can take it any further," he said.

"If we all we wanted to do was to defend our shores you could move to a sort of home guard, but if we want to continue our international efforts to defend out global interests, and the UK does have global economic reach, there is a critical mass below which you cannot dip and still make a worthwhile contribution - and we're not far from it.

"We lost things we could not afford to lose already. The Royal Navy has got too few vessels in service, too little manpower, to execute the tasks already being asked of it."

Sir Nick said morale in the forces was already suffering in the face of the cuts implemented over the last two years - and it had was not helped that the latest round of redundancies in the Army came the day after the announcement that up to 350 personnel were being deployed to Africa in relation to operations in Mali.

"It's a pretty cruel bloody irony that the very next day his ministers are back in the Commons justifying the third tranches of the military redundancies. There was nothing new there, but in presentational terms (it was) a bit sub-optimal in term of Downing Street grid management," he said.

"You freeze pay. You cut allowances, you slash numbers. You work those who are left all the harder to make up for those who have gone. You throw in, for good measure, doubt about where people are going to be based, doubt about what their future pensions are going to look like," he said. "By the time you have compounded all those things together its just inevitable that morale is going to be suffering."

New figures for British air and drone strikes in Iraq

Six months on from the UK’s first drone strike against ISIS, new figures have been released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to Drone Wars UK detailing the number of air and drone strikes that have been undertaken by UK forces... Read More ›

Finally revealed: UK drone strikes in Afghanistan by province

More than three years after first submitting a Freedom of Information request, the UK Ministry of Defence has finally told us in which Afghan provinces UK drones strikes took place. Although there is no detail on the number of strikes within... Read More ›

Watch out! Watchkeepers over Wiltshire

Drone Wars UK understands that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will announce on Monday (24 Feb) that live training flights of the Watchkeeper drone will begin over Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. The Watchkeeper drone has been developed under a £900m MoD... Read More ›

British drone strikes in Afghanistan using borrowed US drones revealed — strikes not reported...

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has admitted that British RAF pilots have borrowed USAF Reaper drones more than 250 times in Afghanistan, launching weapons on at least 39 occasions. However the numbers of strikes by RAF pilots using US Reapers drones is likely to be... Read More ›

Israel aims to silence growing international criticism with Texas A&M deal in Nazareth

Mondoweiss – 3 January 2013

Two months ago officials from Israel and Texas made an unexpected announcement, unveiling an ambitious plan to build in Israel the first branch of an American university, at a probable cost of $100 million.

The greatest surprise of all was the location: Texas A&M University, one of the biggest in the US, is set to open its new campus in Nazareth, a town of 80,000 in the Galilee, home to the largest community of Christians in Israel and the unofficial capital of the country’s Palestinian minority.

Israel hopes to accomplish several goals from the venture: silence international criticism for its having the highest levels of poverty and inequality among the advanced economies; drive a wedge further between Palestinian Christians and Muslims; stymie efforts by Palestinians in Israel to win educational autonomy; and strike a powerful blow against mounting pressure from the movement for an academic and cultural boycott.

Since Israel’s creation more than six decades ago, Palestinian citizens, who today number 1.5 million and comprise a fifth of the total population, have complained of systematic discrimination and marginalisation in a self-declared Jewish state.

Nazareth has been campaigning to host the country’s first Arab university for 30 years, but has faced adamant opposition from successive Israeli governments, which have rejected any cultural or educational autonomy for the minority. Even in the separate school system for Palestinian citizens, Jewish officials maintain strict control over the most trivial aspects of the curriculum.

But Israel seems to be changing tack in dramatic and high-profile fashion. The government is now hurriedly preparing to overturn a law against the establishment of foreign campuses in Israel so that the university can open in Nazareth on schedule, in October 2015.

Bridge to peace?

At a ceremony on October 23 in Jerusalem, Texas governor Rick Perry and Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, signed an agreement committing Texas A&M to assist in raising funds for the new university, which has been christened the “Peace Campus”.

As its name suggests, the Nazareth branch is being sold as an initiative to help build bridges in a troubled region. Both sides are keen to highlight that the intake of students will be drawn from Israel’s Muslim, Christian and Jewish populations, as well as attracting overseas students. There is even improbable talk of Palestinians from the occupied territories or Arabs from the wider Middle East attending.

At the signing ceremony, Perry said: “We want to see the Nazareth branch as a means to preserving peace and building understanding between cultures.”

Understandably, Nazareth officials have mostly welcomed the move, not least because it will inject much-needed investment and capital into a city that has long been starved of public funds.

But as the dust settles on the deal, questions are being raised about what really lies behind this unexpected reversal of Israel’s long-standing policy towards its Palestinian minority. Is the deal as straightforwardly a good thing as it looks?

It rather depends who is answering the question.

Raja Zaatry, director of Hirak, a Nazareth-based centre campaigning for greater access for Palestinian citizens to higher education, calls the deal “not a good scenario”, and one that has “the potential to be dangerous”.

Zaatry and others’ fears relate to a strange brew of Israeli interests in the Nazareth deal: from its economic concerns as a member of the club of wealthiest nations, to its growing ties to the Christian Zionist far-right in the US, as well as its long-standing policy of internal colonialism towards the Palestinian minority.

Suspicions among Nazareth officials of Israeli bad faith have only been intensified by the fact that negotiations were conducted without their participation. Instead the deal was agreed, after talks behind closed doors, by Peres and the Israeli education minister, Shai Piron, on one side and Perry and the Texas A&M chancellor, John Sharp, on the other.

Speaking at a press conference after the signing ceremony, Perry called the Nazareth campus “an offshoot of this long-term courting of each other.” And yet the courting stage has been highly furtive.

For Nazareth’s leadership, the deal was effectively dropped into its lap unannounced – and the day after nationwide municipal elections, following a period when all the minority’s politicians had been greatly distracted by local matters.

Similarly, it appears most officials at Texas A&M were caught equally off-guard. At least some members of the university’s board of regents, which is supposed to approve and oversee major projects, found out about the impending agreement only from the local media.

Need for economic growth

Israel’s desire to get Texas involved in effectively subsiding the higher education of its Palestinian minority can probably be explained in part by pressures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Israel joined the OECD, an exclusive club of the 35 most developed economies in the world, in 2010, chiefly as a way to open the door to foreign investment and lower credit ratings.

But it has faced a series of critical OECD reports that have painted a picture of a strong economy – one bolstered by significant recent finds of natural gas in the Mediterranean – damaged by social cohesion indicators among the worst in the OECD. Israel, for example, has the OECD’s highest rate of poverty, at 20 per cent, beating even Mexico.

The Israeli right has sought to blame two communities for the country’s poor performance in these indices: the Jewish ultra-Orthodox and the Palestinian minority. Both communities generally have low educational qualifications, as well as high levels of unemployment and poverty.

The OECD has warned that these factors could undermine Israel’s attractiveness to investors and its scope for long-term economic growth.

But there are very different reasons for the economic weakness of the ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian minority. The former have chosen a religious lifestyle that rejects secular education and greater economic integration; in the case of the Palestinian minority, as Israeli politicians recognise – at least in private – its social and economic woes have been imposed from without.

At a meeting this month with Angel Gurria, the head of the OECD, Netanyahu promised things would change. “Creating growth is the critical thing that we are committed to.”

In that spirit, Israeli billionaire Stef Wertheimer opened the first industrial park in Nazareth in the summer, after bureaucratic hurdles placed in the way of the project for years were belatedly lifted. He plans to take advantage of the thousands of jobless Palestinian graduates who trained in hi-tech but have been unable to find Israeli companies willing to employ them.

The opening of a university in Nazareth appears to be part of the same trend, according to Zaatry. Israel wants to improve its economic credentials by tapping the potential of the Palestinian minority, without having to redirect state funds away from the Jewish population.

Christian Zionists intervene

Other aspects of the arrangement, however, have set off alarm bells, most especially the news that Texas A&M will not be providing the money directly. Fund-raising will be undertaken at least in part by US evangelicals, led by John Hagee.

Hagee is the founder of Christians United for Israel, a Christian Zionist organisation with more than a million supporters in the US that is best known for raising money to help extremist settlements in the West Bank, which are intended to destroy any chances of a peace agreement.

Christian Zionists support Israel’s Jewish population unreservedly in the hope that by encouraging all Jews to come to Israel they can advance a supposed Biblical prophecy of an end of times, in which the Messiah returns.

Given his oft-expressed disdain for Palestinians in the occupied territories, why is Hagee transforming himself into the economic and educational saviour of Palestinians in the heart of Israel?

In fact, Hagee appears to have been at the forefront of the negotiations over the Nazareth campus. He has even boasted that it was he who engineered the first meetings between Texas A&M and the Israeli leadership. Hagee is known to be close to Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Christian Zionist motivations for the deal are not hard to identify. Governor Perry has a strong evangelical following, and may be hoping that the Nazareth campus will help boost his credentials with the wider Christian Zionist movement in the US if, as expected, he seeks the Republican party’s next presidential nomination.

Sharp, Texas A&M’s Catholic chancellor and a former college roommate of Perry’s as well as long-time friend of Hagee’s, has sounded more than a little Christian Zionist in his utterances. He told the New York Times the Nazareth campus was a realisation of a passion: “I wanted a presence in Israel. I have felt a kinship with Israel.”

Jennifer Rubin, a neoconservative columnist for the Washington Post, indicated this month a possible reasoning by the US right in promoting the deal. She noted that it was revealing that Texas, “the heartland of America, especially among evangelical Christians”, rather than New York, home to many US Jews, was behind the deal.

“Americans to a greater degree than ever before identify with and support Israel, both for religious reasons and in recognition of our common defense against Islamic jihadists,” she wrote. “In Texas, as in so many other places in the United States, the idea of divesting in, boycotting or condemning the Jewish state, our best and arguably only stable ally in the region, is anathema.”

Certainly, for Israel and its supporters the establishment of a university in a Palestinian community in Israel will be a useful weapon in its arsenal against the growing pressure for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), especially on US campuses.

This is one of Zaatry’s concerns. He observed: “Israel’s reasoning for advancing a university in Nazareth is at least in part Zionist: to show how democratic Israel is and to silence its critics. That is useful in fighting BDS.”

The fight for autonomy

And then there is the matter of educational autonomy. Palestinian leaders in Israel have been lobbying for funding for a university in a Palestinian community, ideally one that offers courses in Arabic, since the early 1980s.

This has been a priority for several reasons.

The Palestinian population is heavily under-represented in Israeli higher education because of a raft of discriminatory practices, including psychometric tests and exam score-weighting that skew results towards Hebrew-speakers.

Many potential Arab students are also deterred from pursuing higher education in Israel when faced with the inevitable culture shock and educational disadvantage of entering an exclusively Hebrew-speaking environment.

In addition, the location of colleges only in Jewish communities makes finding accommodation extremely difficult for Palestinian students, both because of the practice of reserving dormitory places for former soldiers and because private landlords are averse to renting property to Palestinian citizens.

And finally, an Arab university is regarded as a vital necessity in helping young women from more conservative, especially religious, families break into higher education. Israeli officials have long been advised that such families are loath to allow daughters to live away from home when it requires moving to a Jewish community, where moral standards are seen as laxer.

As a result, only 11 per cent of the student body is from the Palestinian minority, even though Palestinian citizens account for about quarter of the age group that dominates Israeli higher education. The problem has become especially acute in recent years, with a third of all Palestinian students now opting to study abroad, usually in Jordan, rather than struggle through the many obstacles placed in their way in Israel.

Nonetheless, said Zaatry, efforts by the Palestinian leadership in Israel to make higher education more attractive have been consistently stymied by Israeli education officials.

In 2003 Elias Chacour, the Greek Catholic archbishop of the Galilee, set up a small college, Mar Elias, in his hometown of Ibilin. Spurned by the Israeli Council for Higher Education (CHE), Chacour, a Nobel peace prize nominee, made a deal with Indianapolis University, a private Methodist school, to become an overseas campus.

Despite this assistance, Mar Elias was constrained by funding difficulties and a series of Israeli bureaucratic restrictions. It remained a tiny college, teaching a few dozen students, until it closed in 2009, when Israel outlawed arrangements of the kind between Mar Elias and Indianapolis.

However, the core staff re-established the campus in Nazareth, this time as the independent Nazareth Academic Institute. Despite becoming the first Arab higher education institution ever to receive accreditation in Israel, the CHE immediately sought to hamper its operations.

A siege on Nazareth Institute

The Institute, which is allowed to offer just two degree courses, chemistry and communications, is the only recognised college of higher education in the Galilee denied state funding. Bishara Kattouf, one of the Institute’s directors, said: “It seemed clear that the Council [for Higher Education] refused funding because we are an Arab college. It has been a huge struggle to raise the money privately.”

It was also made a requirement of accreditation that the Institute run a compulsory course on “peace studies” for all students.

The OECD has been lobbying Israeli authorities to upgrade the Nazareth Institute’s status since 2010, without success.

That year the Institute’s president, George Knaza, admitted that the Council for Higher Education only agreed to recognise his college following a commitment that he not seek state assistance, “I guess the council hoped we’d die from lack of funding, but we have a very strong drive for life. If we want to develop and contribute to Arab society, we have to have state support. This should also be a state interest.”

In the meantime, while arguing there was no public money available for a university in Nazareth, the CHE upgraded Ariel College, making it the first university located in a settlement. Ariel is so deep inside the occupied territories that annexing its land to Israel would effectively cut the West Bank in two.

Ariel university, which the CHE has awarded a $125 million budget, has been encouraged to recruit Palestinian citizens from nearby communities inside Israel, such as Kafr Qassem, to blunt criticism that the university practises a form of apartheid by excluding Palestinians in the occupied territories from its programmes.

This summer, in an apparent effort to keep up the pressure on the Nazareth Institute, the CHE refused to award degrees to its first-ever graduating class. Kattouf said: “It’s ridiculous. We were told our financial situation is too unstable. But it is only unstable because the Council refuses to help us with funding.

“We have big ambitions for the Institute and there is a lot of local demand but without help from the state our development will always be very slow.”

Until now the CHE has also stood in the way of approving the building of a dedicated campus for the Institute. It has maintained its opposition even though a plot of land, on the lower slopes of the Mount of Precipice, is available and Munib al-Masri, a Palestinian tycoon from Nablus in the West Bank, has committed to funding the construction.

Largely overlooked in the coverage of the Texas A&M deal is the fact that the only way the US university can set up a campus in Israel is by partnering with an Israeli college, as degrees must be issued by the CHE to remain within Israeli law. Texas is therefore reliant on Nazareth Institute to make the agreement possible.

But equally the Institute needs Texas if it ever wants to solve its problems of funding, approval of a campus, and the ability to award degrees. Privately, Nazareth Institute officials admit they are in no position to resist the deal. It has been presented as a sink-or-swim offer.

Zaatry noted: “The government effectively waged a war of attrition against the Institute. It thought they wouldn’t survive long, given that they have to subsidise every student by 20,000 shekels [$5,600] a year. It has been surprised by their staying power.”

Nonetheless, there are real concerns about what will be left of the Nazareth Institute once the deal is implemented. It currently has about 120 students, compared with 58,000 at Texas A&M. After the merger, student numbers at the Nazareth campus are set to rocket to 10,000 within a decade. The suspicion is that the Nazareth Institute will be entirely subsumed, with Texas and the CHE calling the shots.

Suher Basharat, dean of students, has hinted that the new arrangement was far from the ideal solution. “We hoped and wanted to be an Israeli academic institution in every respect, not a branch [of a foreign university],” she told the Haaretz newspaper.

Dangerous downsides to deal

No one in Nazareth wants publicly to be seen opposing too strongly a project that is expected to bring to the city investment and potentially many jobs.

But there are growing suspicions that Israel may have preferred this option because, while it is likely to strengthen a small middle class within the Palestinian minority economically, it is also likely to have two significant negative repercussions. The deal will weaken the minority’s key ambition for cultural and educational autonomy, and it risks dangerously inflaming tensions and divisions along sectarian lines.

With the Texas deal secured, Israeli education officials have effectively averted the mounting pressure posed by the Nazareth Institute, as well as the Palestinian minority’s leaders and the OECD, to concede educational autonomy in the shape of an Arab university.

What the final arrangement between the Nazareth Institute and Texas will look like in practice is still far from clear. But the indications so far are that, in line with the signing ceremony, Texas and Israeli officials will reserve for themselves exclusive control. According to media reports, the language of tuition will be English, and Texas A&M will decide – presumably in conjunction with the CHE – on courses and on staff recruitment.

Having a university in Nazareth should – at least theoretically – make it easier for young Palestinian women to study, but it is unlikely to address another, more pressing concern. If Palestinian students feel deterred from higher education by the difficulties of studying in Hebrew, their second language, it is far from obvious they will be encouraged by the chance to study in their third or fourth language, English. Given that they will be competing with Israeli Jews and overseas students, they are likely to be at a distinct disadvantage.

The fear is that the Nazareth campus will do little to extend the number of Palestinian students entering higher education beyond the current narrow circle of those drawn from middle-class families already accessing higher education.

But even more disturbingly, the heavy influence of Christian Zionists on the agreement could have profound ramifications for Christian-Muslim relations in the city, which are already on a knife edge.

A history of divide and rule

Nazareth, though a holy place to Christians, is a city with a two-thirds Muslim majority – one of the legacies of the 1948 war that established Israel by dispossessing and expelling Palestinians from their historic communities. A significant number of refugees from neighbouring Muslim villages fled to Nazareth for sanctuary, overnight altering its demographic balance.

Since then, Israel has repeatedly tried to inflame tensions between the two communities, especially in Nazareth.

The most notorious flare-up occurred in the city in the late 1990s, after the government – then, as now, led by Netanyahu – made an unprecedented decision to back a provocative scheme by a local group of Muslims to build a huge mosque in a public square next to Nazareth’s main Christian holy site, the Basilica of the Annunciation.

In fact, the government never issued the necessary planning permit and later went on to destroy the mosque’s foundations. But the damage had already been done: by Easter 1999 Christians and Muslims were fighting in the streets over control of the site.

Netanyahu seems again to be in the mood to stir up tensions, apparently as part of Israel’s long-standing divide-and-rule approach to Palestinians, both in Israel and the occupied territories.

His timing seems to have been inspired by the Arab Spring, with Israel now promoting a self-serving argument that Christians in Israel should wake up to the dangers of regional persecution from Muslims.

In August Netanyahu announced a new government initiative to end the exemption of Christians from serving in the Israeli military. Until now, only the small Druze community has served, with both Muslims and Christians refusing the draft.

On this view, as Azmi Hakim, leader of the Greek Orthodox community council in Nazareth argued, Christians are encouraged to identify with and seek protection from the Jewish state. “Israel is telling young Christians that the military will arm them and teach them how to fight. For some, it can be a seductive message.”

Muslims and many Christians are deeply concerned this could be the trigger for renewed strife between them.

‘Zionising’ Palestinian Christians

As part of Netanyahu’s meddling, he appears to be encouraging greater involvement from Christian Zionists in the region.

In the summer Bishara Shilyan, the brother of the Ministry of Defence’s adviser on Christian recruitment, established a Christian-Jewish political movement in Nazareth, the first-ever such party.

Hakim believes Shilyan is receiving funds from a group of local Palestinian Christians in the town of Kafr Yasif, north-west of Nazareth, who have allied themselves to Christian Zionism. Behind them, it is widely assumed, stands US Christian Zionist money.

Allison Deger reported in Mondoweiss last month on a venture by US Christian Zionists to sell small plots of land for $1,200 a time between Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, as a way to strengthen an evangelical broadcasting network based in Jerusalem and Texas.

How the Holy Land Dream Company has acquired the plots, given that 93 per cent of land in Israel is state-owned and can only be leased by Jews, is so far unclear.

Other evangelical channels have recently established themselves in Jerusalem, including God-TV. It is working closely with the Jewish National Fund, a semi-governmental agency, to plant a forest in the Negev to displace Palestinian Bedouin from their ancestral lands.

Is the Christian Zionist team behind the Peace Campus in Nazareth – Pastor Hagee, Governor Perry and Chancellor Sharp – playing a tangential role in these developments?

One possibility is that Netanyahu and the Israeli right may hope to promote closer involvement by US evangelicals in the lives of the Palestinian Christian community in Israel. That could be potentially useful in undermining the revival of Palestinian nationalism inside Israel that followed the collapse of the Oslo Accords from 2000 onwards.

Palestinian Christians have traditionally been at the forefront of the Palestinian national movement, both in Israel and the occupied territories. They have thereby discredited claims from Israel that it stands on the fault line of a clash of civilisations between a Christian-Jewish west and a Muslim east.

The outlines of a possible Israeli strategy in response may be emerging, one that requires both strengthening the role of Christian Zionists in the Holy Land – with a university campus in the heartland of the Christian population in Israel – and demanding military service from local Christians.

That way, Netanyahu and the right may hope they can start to erode local Christians’ identification as Palestinians and generate new sources of conflict between the Christian and Muslim populations.

The “Zionisation” of local Christians would be a major achievement for the Israeli right. Not least it would clear the path for US evangelicals to claim they represent the true interests of Christians in the Holy Land.

Possibly even more importantly, it would isolate overseas churches that have traditionally shown solidarity with the Palestinians. Some of them are starting to take a lead in the promotion of the BDS campaign and what Israel characterises as a campaign of “delegitimisation” – another strong reason for Israel to want to recruit local Palestinian Christians to its cause.

The Nazareth campus may mark a change of tactic by Israel. But it seems the same cynical strategy is alive and kicking.

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Drone campaigners vow to pursue transparency despite losing Information Tribunal

Press Statement Anti-drone campaigners vowed to continue fighting for greater transparency on the use of armed drones despite losing an appeal against the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to share more information about the UK’s use of armed drones in Afghanistan.... Read More ›

The Surveillance State: Let US hold IT To Account

The 4th Media, Countercurrents and Global Research 28/6/2013
“If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague, responding to the revelations of mass surveillance in the US and the UK (BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show on 9 June). 
What does William Hague take the British public for? This bureaucrat politician stands in front of the cameras time and again setting out to mislead with his self righteous platitudes. He did it over Libya and tens of thousands lost their lives. His is doing it over Syria with similar results. And he is doing it over mass surveillance by the state.

Do not believe we have nothing to fear. We have much to fear. Take the case of Stephen Lawrence, for example, who was lawfully ‘going about his business’ in April 1993, when white racists murdered him while he was waiting for a bus. It has now emerged that, after the murder, four London Metropolitan police officers were deployed to spy on the Lawrence family and Stephen’s friends.

The Lawrences were just ‘law-abiding citizens going about their business’. But undercover police were used to smear the Lawrence family’s fight for justice (1). One of those the spies says he job was to hunt for disinformation and dirt in order to stop the Lawrence’s justice campaign in its tracks. Nothing to fear from the state Mr Hague?

And then there are the numerous well-documented cases of the police and/or intelligence agencies infiltrating legitimate campaign and protest groups (2) and ‘investigating’ political parties or prominent figures (3)(4) in order to subvert or discredit them. Let us not forget too (how could we?) the massive police cover ups, none more prominent than the Hillsborough case (5). Still nothing to fear Mr Hague?

But let’s not be too harsh on Hague. The same ‘terror threat/nothing to fear’ script is being read out to the public in the US. Politicians elsewhere are using ‘terror’ as an excuse for spying on the public at large as well. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is convinced that Germany has to protect itself against potential terrorist attacks by using mass surveillance:

“We are dependent on being able to act and not being entirely at the mercy of the terrorists. And today, it’s on the Internet that communication takes place.” (6)
Alexander Dix, data protection commissioner for the city of Berlin, is a lot more sceptical. He calls for more restraint in the collection of data:

“You don’t have to follow conspiracy theories in order to suspect that data collected for fighting terrorism will also be used in other areas.” (6)
It’s all very convenient for politicians to pull out the magic phrase ‘war on terror’ in a futile attempt to stop any discussion on surveillance in its tracks. If the US-led alliance really wanted to stop or drastically reduce terrorism, it should listen to journalist Nir Rosen’s advice: stop committing it (7).


We need more monitoring and surveillance


The likes of Obama, Kerry, Hague or Cameron have become experts in churning out their fear-mongering platitudes by using some abstract notion of ‘we’ to imply ‘the nation’ or the ‘national interest’. But ‘we’ – the ordinary folk – need to hold power to account, to question its legitimacy and to challenge it when it is illegitimate.

We need to do this to help guarantee our safety, our common interests, our freedoms and threats to democracy. How about more but bottom-up monitoring and surveillance in terms of transparency within government and accountability to ensure decisions are properly scrutinized and genuinely open to pubic debate. In the absence of this, we have corruption, profiteering and the revolving door between government and big business, which all ensure that the powerful and wealthy get away with murder, quite literally when it comes to their illegal wars and mass killing.


In the absence of real democracy, we have food safety/regulation authorities being hijacked by corporate interests in order to feather their own nests. We have armaments companies using politicians as their sales lackeys.

We have police and intelligence agencies infiltrating, harassing or subverting legitimate groups that have every right to protest, dissent and oppose. We have a wide range of powerful corporate players that lobby, threaten or buy their way towards casting the world in their own self-serving nuclear, retail, biotech, petro-chemical or pharmaceutical image. And we have banks, industries and whole economies that are undemocratically owned and controlled.

We also have ‘stuff’ being sprayed onto us without our consent (or very often knowledge) and have no power to stop ‘stuff’ from being sprayed onto us (8).

But we are told all this top-down surveillance and all of the increasing unfreedoms are for our own good. We are told that public servants serve us by bowing down to elite interests. We are told that an incredible mass media is credible even though it serves a corporate agenda.


Based on his research for the book Who Killed Diana?, the late journalist Simon Regan stated that it is (paraphrased):


Whitehall that really runs the country with a close-knit Mafia-like clique… made up of a handful of powerful, but low-key, City brokers and financiers; the top brains at the Foreign Office, the Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and the Trade Department. Key figures in the security forces… and…at least one key member of the prime minister’s secretariat… the police and judiciary… through the Home Office… can certainly be manipulated. The Super-Establishment’s power is based upon its ability to manipulate the level below it – the individuals that most people believe are governing our country. The elected government is almost irrelevant… The world in which the Super-Establishment exists is a grey and murky world in which sensitive matters of state are planned and executed in gentlemen’s clubs. It is where manipulation plots are hatched, whether it is manipulation of a certain minister towards a certain viewpoint, or the wholesale orchestration of a Foreign Office ploy to bring down a foreign government… It is almost the divine "mission of the secret services to protect the status quo, and hitherto it has been their full intention to thwart anyone who tried to disrupt it. The actual existence of the Super-Establishment is not a flight of fancy. It is entirely manipulative and exercises a great deal of power behind the scenes. (9)


The elite, the oligarchs, the ruling class, the one percent – call it how you will. Yet it is we, the people, who are spied on and monitored by them for their good, to serve their interests and to feather their highly privileged and secretive world, a world built on the stolen wealth of both past and present deeds.


But don’t worry about any of this. There is no need. If that nice Mr Hague says we’ve nothing to fear, he must be right.


Notes



Full Spectrum Dominance: Weaponising The Weather

Countercurrents 26/6/2013

The US military is striving to achieve what it calls ‘full spectrum dominance’ of the planet by controlling the weather. But it is not just the US that is involved in climate modification, China and Russia are too. Thanks to people like researcher Dane Wigington, however, we are getting to know a good deal about the massive US programme and how the very essentials needed to sustain life on Earth are being recklessly destroyed.

Geo-engineering is not a topic that will begin to affect us in several years, but is already causing massive animal and plant die offs around the world, as well as human illnesses. Wigington presents compelling evidence to confirm that secretive geo-engineering programmes are taking place (1). At one level, airplanes are spraying toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. These ‘chemtrails’ (stratospheric aerosol geo-engineering) are clearly visible trails left behind aircraft that do not disappear but spread out and are visible for many hours (or days).


Why are they spraying? For instance, to test out human reactions to certain harmful substances, to dim sunlight or manipulate the atmosphere in order to make their other experiments possible, to combat the climate damage that has resulted from what they have already done, or to weaken our ability to procreate. There may be many reasons. Even if a person cares to ignore the evidence pertaining to chemtrails, it is interesting to note that the Ministry of Defence in Britain admitted to spraying germs on the UK population between 1940 and 1979 (2). The US military also sprayed toxic chemicals on US cities (3).


The materials from these chemtrails showing up on the ground are the same often highly toxic materials mentioned in numerous geo-engineering patents and documents, including aluminium and barium (1). The planet is being encased by such materials.


By joining the dots, we can see that geo-engineering has links to what is happening with our food and agriculture. The aluminium being sprayed from planes can adversely affect plants and soil. It is interesting to note therefore that Monsanto has now patented aluminium resistant seeds. It may or may not require a leap of faith, but imagine a world where one corporate entity holds the key to plant (and thus human) life. Just as interesting, is that the Norwegian Arctic island of Svalbard now houses a ‘doomsday’ vault designed to keep millions of natural seed samples safe from natural and ‘unnatural’ disasters. Bill Gates has invested tens of his millions along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway, among others, in this seed bank (4).


The Gates and the Rockefeller families have long been concerned with human over population and both have interests in GM crops, ‘family planning’ and depopulation (4). Monsanto, which Gates now has shares in, owns the Epicyte gene, which some fear could be used (or is being used) to sterilise or make infertile those sections of the global population deemed ‘surplus to requirements’. Indeed, the Rockefeller Foundation has links going back to the Nazi eugenics (renamed ‘genetics’) movement.


It’s a win-win situation for these linked elite interests. If they are trying to control all sides of the equation, they seem to be on the right track. They not only have aluminium resistant crops and are meddling with the climate, but they also control the doomsday natural seed vault, which may be regarded as a kind of fallback or insurance policy. The Rockefeller family first set about controlling oil, then agriculture via the petro-chemical dependent ‘Green Revolution’ (4) and now, with other players, potentially all human life on Earth.


But whether that scenario plays out is another matter because geo-engineering is much more wide ranging and far reaching. In attempting to play god with the Earth’s atmosphere, there may soon be no life left to control.  


The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is carrying out electromagnetic experimentations with the ionosphere and developing electromagnetic weaponry. It is claimed that HAARP intends to induce ionospheric modifications with a view to altering weather patterns and disrupting communications and radar (5)(6). There are experiments regarding clouds and drought, tectonics and earthquakes, atmospheric conductivity and, along with sunlight dimming and atmospheric warming, attempts at trying to rectify the damage already done to the environment due to geo-engineering.


According to Wigington, these programmes, not industrialisation, are responsible for the bulk of global warming, the hole in the ozone layer and methane that has been released into the atmosphere, which is many times worse than the impact of carbon dioxide. Once people begin to tamper with nature, unintended consequences result. And the answer to try to put right what they have succeeded in damaging thus far is simply more of the same, more tampering. The genie is out of the bottle. It can’t be put back in so it becomes a case of ever more geo-engineering, ever more ‘innovations’ - a spiral towards ultimate catastrophe, including further global heating, atmospheric oxygen depletion, drought, floods and diseases. A parallel can be drawn with agriculture and the never ending stream of (highly profitable) inputs required to attempt to overcome the problems resulting from the petro-chemical-driven ‘Green Revolution’ and now GM crops.    


The potential for undermining economies and inflicting drought, earthquakes, germ warfare, crop failures or suchlike on populations and countries is apparent – the euphemism for this irresponsible destruction of the planet is the Hollywoodesque term ‘full spectrum dominance’. In the meantime, we, the ordinary people, have no say about any of this. People have no say and most are unaware that any of this is happening. But the impact can be felt, whether it is extreme, unpredictable weather patterns, ice melt in the Arctic, massive animal and plant die offs and increasing levels of serious human ailments and diseases, such as dementia and autism. In his recent presentation, Wigington provided compelling evidence for all of this (1).   


Why would people do this knowing that it could adversely impact everyone, including themselves and their children? Pyschopathy, insanity? Perhaps. But short-term strategic gain could be all that matters to these people – a case of if we do not do it, our rivals will. As with the proliferation of nuclear weapons and testing, this is another treadmill, a geo-engineering one that threatens to turn Earth into an uninhabitable planet resembling Venus. But for the powerful people behind all of this, that seems to be a gamble worth taking, a price worth paying. Is there any hope for the future of the planet? Yes, but only if they can be made to stop doing this.


 Notes






UK police and armed forces to face cuts of ‘more than £1.6 billion’

Published time: March 23, 2013 09:34
AFP Photo/Justin Tallis

The UK Ministry of Defence and Home Office will face further budgetary cuts, according to UK’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander. He declares any public outrage will be ignored. The move foreshadows additional defense layoffs.

The slashes to the departments’ finances are due in 2015-16, and follow three years of existing cuts. The news emerged in the fallout from Wednesday’s budget statement, which planned 11.5 billion pounds (US$17.5 billion) of further broad-scale cuts for 2015-16; on Saturday, Alexander told the Telegraph that the MoD and HO would share the weight.

An independent auditor warned that the MoD could lose more than 1.6 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) from its 32-billion-pound ($48.7 billion) budget for 2015-16, according to the newspaper. These reductions would almost certainly lead to an accompanying fresh round of lay-offs.

Alexander, a Liberal Democrat MP also warned that no amount of public outrage at the further cuts would influence the measures.

“It has no effect on the decisions I will make, or the view that I will take on the right balance. The idea that having a great public campaign will influence the outcome, that’s just wrong,”
he said.

Earlier this month, UK Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond cautioned that “any further reduction in the defense budget would fall on the level of activity that we were able to carry out.”

 British Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander (AFP Photo/Carl Court)

Tensions have flared as Conservative politicians, who currently head the ruling coalition with the Liberal Democrat party, have voiced their support for continuing to slash Britain’s welfare budget, citing small falls in unemployment, instead of continuing to target the defense budget.

The group has come to be known as the ‘National Union of Ministers’, and is led by Home Secretary Theresa May. They demand that ‘ring-fenced’ spending be ended, which immunizes some departments from further cuts. These protected departments include the NHS and Department for International Development (DFID).

Alexander reiterated that the NHS, schools and international development would be ring-fenced when asked whether the Home Office and Ministry of Defence would be protected from further cuts, adding:  


“We will work through the details, but every department, including the ones you mention, will have to make savings.”
On the same day, it was announced that a supposed ‘cost-cutting’ NHS scheme to remotely monitor housebound patients will cost three times as much as expected.  

An anonymous Conservative source told the newspaper in February that there was

“a real concern that the Lib Dems want to protect the benefits culture at the expense of our troops.” This January, British PM David Cameron was forced to admit that military spending would not rise until after 2016, despite previous assertions that no more cuts would be made to MoD.

AFP Photo/Leon Neal

In February, Cameron announced that he would be “very open” to the idea of diverting billions of pounds from the foreign aid budget (Department for International Development) to the military.

A decision to increase the DFID budget to 12 billion pounds by the next election stirred uproar amongst opponents of cuts to other departments’ services. However, this diversion of funding has induced criticism, with head of policy at major UK-based charity Oxfam, Mark Lawson, saying Britain's aid money should go to

“schools, not soldiers.” Following Wednesday’s budget, Fitch global ratings agency said that the UK faced the

“heightened probability of a downgrade” towards the close of April. Moody’s downgraded the UK around a month ago, making it the first of the three major agencies to do so, in the process stripping the country of its AAA rating.

Budget: Extra £2.5bn Boost For Spending

George Osborne has ordered government departments to slash their budgets by another £2.5bn to fund extra capital spending.

The Chancellor and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told ministers that they can afford to trim another 1% a year until 2015.

Mr Osborne said at Cabinet that it was possible because departments have under-spent their budgets this year by more than the average.

The extra cuts will not hit the departments protected by ring-fences - the NHS, international aid and schools. HMRC is also protected, as is the police budget for the first year.

There is no detail yet on how the extra cash will be spent, but it will help Mr Osborne satisfy critics that he is not doing enough to boost growth.

The announcement comes on the eve of his Budget, in which he is under intense pressure to inject some life into an economy teetering on the brink of a triple-dip recession.

The Ministry of Defence will be allowed to roll over unspent money to compensate for the cuts being demanded from the department.

But others including environment, energy, transport and justice will have to find the 1% annual savings to day-to-day resource budgets in full.

More follows...

Tunisian PM announces newly formed coalition government

Published time: March 08, 2013 18:44

Tunisian premier-designate Ali Larayedh announces a proposed new coalition government during a press conference following his meeting with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on March 8, 2013 in Tunis. (AFP Photo/Fethi Belaid)

Tunisia’s caretaker Prime Minister has declared a new Islamist-led coalition government after a deal was reached in last-minute talks aimed at ending the country's political crisis. The cabinet will serve until fresh elections at some point in 2013.

The newly formed government, led by the Islamist Ennahda party, also includes two secular parties - center-left Ettakatol party and the secular Congress for the Republic, led by President Moncef Marzouki.  The legislative body will also hold some independents within its ranks. Despite the new appointments the coalition consists of the same parties, just with a different share of seats.

Ennahda has ceded control of key ministries, including foreign affairs, defense and the interior.

In its statement on Facebook, Ennahda said its members only took 28 per cent of seats in Larayedh's government, which is down from 40% in the previous coalition. At the same time independents formed 48 per cent of the new cabinet.

Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said that parties reached an agreement during “"marathon negotiations" about a political program for the new government.

"Our country needs national unity," Larayedh told a news conference, stressing that his government would not last beyond this year, Reuters report. "You must be patient. The road to democracy is long."

In the new government presented to President Moncef Marzouki, career diplomat Othman Jarandi has been appointed Foreign minister, Lotfi Ben Jedou will now head the Interior Ministery and Rachid Sabbagh – The Ministry of Defence. The full list of appointees is available on Ennahda’s Facebook page.

Prime Minister Ali Larayedh, who replaced resigned Hamadi Jebali after the assassination of a prominent opposition leader Chokri Belaid in February, was ordered to form a new government on 22 February. He had until midnight on Friday to meet a constitutional deadline for doing so.

The murder of Belaid provoked the worst unrest in Tunisia since the uprising that overthrew President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, two years ago.  It also led to resignations from Tunisia's coalition government. Four people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the killing.

Armed Forces ‘Facing £11Bn In Cuts’

The armed forces could be forced to find cuts of £11 billion over the next decade as a result of chancellor George Osborne's forthcoming spending review, a defence think-tank has warned.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers, research director at the Royal United Services Institute, said comments made by ministers implied the Ministry of Defence faced another real terms reduction of £1.1 billion in its annual budget.

armed forces cuts

Professor Chalmers believes there will be a 'sustained squeeze' on the modernisation of non-nuclear forces

That would leave a shortfall of £11 billion in projected spending over the next 10 years.

"When these decisions were made, it was hoped that four years of austerity would be enough for the government to meet its wider budget reduction targets," Prof Chalmers said. "These assumptions now appear under threat."

Downing Street has already warned that defence will not be immune from cuts in the spending review for 2015/16 - on top of the 7.5% reduction imposed in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

David Cameron has said that he believes spending on defence should start to rise again in real terms in the years following 2015.

However, Prof Chalmers said the position of the MoD was still likely to be "very difficult", with spending on a replacement submarine fleet for the Trident nuclear deterrent due to pick up sharply from 2016/17.

The result would be a "sustained squeeze" on the modernisation of non-nuclear forces unless the government was prepared to commit to annual real terms increases beyond 2020.

At the same time, he said that the MoD's ambitious equipment plan, announced in January, could mean that non-equipment spending will have to be cut in order to fund it.

Defence Equipment minister Philip Dunne said the MoD had been given an assurance by the Treasury that the equipment budget would rise by 1% a year in real terms from 2015/16 onwards.

"This has been endorsed by the prime minister. Our armed forces will remain a formidable fighting force, backed by the fourth largest defence budget in the world," he said.

BP Director To Chair Rolls-Royce

A former partner of McKinsey, the management consultancy, is poised to be named on Thursday as the next chairman of Rolls-Royce, the aircraft engine-maker.

I can reveal that Ian Davis, who sits on the board of BP, is to join the board of Rolls-Royce in the coming months. He is expected to replace Sir Simon Robertson as the chairman of Britain's most important manufacturing company following its annual meeting in May.

The appointment will end months of uncertainty about the leadership of Rolls-Royce after it became mired in corruption allegations relating to payments made by its subsidiaries in China and Indonesia.

Mr Davis's appointment is expected to be announced alongside a bumper set of full-year numbers from Rolls-Royce, which analysts say will have notched up about £1.4bn in annual profit last year.

Mr Davis is well-known to the Rolls-Royce board member who led the search for Sir Simon’s successor. Iain Conn, the senior independent director at the aircraft engine-maker, is also the chief executive of BP’s refining and marketing operation, and insiders said that Mr Davis had been in discussions with Rolls-Royce for several months about taking the job.

Sources said tonight that Rolls-Royce was unlikely to provide a detailed update on the progress of the corruption probes alongside its results.

Last month, it said it had appointed Lord Gold, the eminent City lawyer, "to lead a review of its compliance procedures, reporting to the Ethics Committee of the Board. This follows the previous announcement by Rolls-Royce that it has provided information to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) relating to concerns about bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in overseas markets".

The corruption allegations have cast a shadow over Rolls-Royce, which has enjoyed a largely unblemished reputation even as its rapid expansion during the last decade saw it accelerate sales in fast-growing emerging markets in Asia.

Mr Davis will need to tackle the ongoing inquiries and build a strong relationship with John Rishton, the Rolls-Royce chief executive, who has only been in the job for about a year.

In addition to his role on the board of BP, Mr Davis sits on the board of Johnson & Johnson, the US pharmaceuticals group, and is a senior adviser to Apax Partners, the private equity firm. He is also a non-executive member of the board of the Cabinet Office.

Rolls-Royce today announced that it had struck a deal with the Ministry of Defence to supply nuclear propulsion technology to the military, a contract that it said would save the Government £200m and protect 2,000 British jobs.

Rolls-Royce declined to comment.

Army ‘Gifts’ £450,000 Of Kit To Uzbekistan

Britain is to give Uzbekistan £450,000 of military kit after it agreed to help with the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the equipment, which includes £100,000 of Land Rover spare parts and 50 Leyland DAF trucks worth £7,000 each, would be "gifted" to the country.

In return, the UK will be allowed to use Uzbekistan to repatriate equipment as operations in Afghanistan wind down.

Responding to concerns over the country's human rights record, which Human Rights Watch describes as "atrocious" , Mr Hammond said he was confident the kit would not be used for "internal repression".

"Uzbekistan has already played a constructive role in helping to secure Afghanistan's stability but will face increased security challenges once Isaf (the International Security Assistance Force) has withdrawn," he said.

"We have therefore been examining options for gifting surplus UK equipment to help meet those challenges."

Around £4bn of kit, including 6,500 storage containers, is due to be brought home before 2015.

Thousands more containers are expected to be abandoned, destroyed or given to Afghan security forces.

According to documents released by the Ministry of Defence, the Land Rover parts are "major assemblies" and are "commercially available".

The UK will fund the transportation of the kit, which is expected to start this year. The bill will be met from the Treasury reserve.

Britain loses 450 drones in battlefield

Nearly 450 British assassination drones have crashed, broken down, or been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last five years, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has disclosed.

The figure highlights the UK military’s huge reliance on technology, and particularly its deployment of unmanned aircrafts that on one hand minimizes risks to frontline troops and on the other, maximizes threats to civilian population of the target country.

The disclosure by the MoD raised concerns among campaigners about the reliability of using drones, as they say the smaller drones, which are more prone to crashes, are similar to those already being flown in UK airspace.

Chris Cole from watchdog website Drone Wars UK said: "The drone industry constantly talks up the supposed economic benefits of unmanned drones, but it is the civil liberties and safety implications that need real attention.”

“Without a significant improvement in reliability and safety, legislators should remain extremely skeptical about plans to open UK airspace to drones”, added Chris Cole.

Britain has spent more than £2 billion over the last five years, developing its unethical assassination drones, according to British media reports.

The deployment of such drones by the U.S. and its allies has led to killings of at least hundreds of innocent civilians, including many women and children, in the Middle East and South Asian regions.

MOS/MOL/HE

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: Gay Wedding Day

The ten things you need to know on Tuesday 5 February 2013...

1) WEDDING DAY

Tory MPs opposed to gay marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace. Although what is more likely to happen is: Speak later on today, probably lose the vote, and then carry on chatting about how awful it is for a bit longer.

MPs will vote on gay marriage later today. The coalition will get its Bill passed second reading given it has the support of Labour. But David Cameron will be keen to convince at least half of his 303 MPs to follow him through the ‘aye’ lobby. Winning a vote despite, rather than because, of your own party is never a good look for a prime minister.

Maria Miller sat down with HuffPost UK yesterday ahead of today’s vote and denied reports pressure was being put on MPs to vote in favour of her Bill. The culture secretary also insisted she would not be backing down in the face of fierce opposition from within her own party. Miller, who pointed to the abolition of the slave trade as proof of her party’s progressive tradition, said it was not good enough to deny people the right to marry simply because they are gay. "Marriage is an important part of our society, it’s a vital way that people can publically state their relationships and I don’t think it’s for the state to stand in the way of that happening simply based on someone’s sexuality,” she said.

The Daily Mail reports this morning that Iain Duncan Smith, who famously backed Section 28 while Tory leader in 2003, will vote with Cameron in favour of gay marriage.

And William Hague, Theresa May and George Osborne have written a joint letter to the Daily Telegraph urging their colleagues to support same-sex marriage. The “big guns”, as the paper describes them, argue, “attitudes to gay people have changed”.

During the vote eyes will be on their cabinet colleagues, including environment secretary Owen Paterson and Welsh secretary David Jones, who are known to have concerns about gay marriage.

Speaking of Paterson. He does appear to have a habit of appointing ministerial aides who then shortly afterwards resign the post after rebelling against the government. His current PPS, David Burrowes, has told the Spectator that he intends to vote against the timetable of the bill, which is whipped, as well as the substantive intent of the legislation, which is not. This could lead to the leading anti-gay marriage MP losing his job.

Today’s Memo is edited by Ned Simons as Mehdi Hasan can’t be dragged away from YouTube clips of Beyonce’s Sunday night Super Bowel performance.

2) ‘GO FOR THE KILL’

A failed marriage is at the centre of today’s other big story. Yesterday former Lib Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne shocked Westminster by pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice after asking his wife to accept speeding points on his behalf.

Tragically the evidence revealed as series of text messages between Huhne and his son, revealing the teenager’s anger at his father: "We all know that you were driving and you put pressure on mum. Accept it or face the consequences. You've told me that was the case. Or will this be another lie?"

Huhne will resign his seat in the Commons, trigging a by-election in his Eastleigh seat. The south coast constituency is a Lib Dem-Tory marginal and will be the first proper electoral fight between the coalition partners since 2010. The Daily Mail reports Cameron has told Tory campaign headquarters to “go for the kill” in the battle for the seat.

3) SUING THE SUN

If Huhne’s son is annoyed at him, then the former energy secretary’s one time cabinet colleague, Andrew Mitchell, is equally angry with The Sun.

In an interview with Channel 4’s Despatches last night, Mitchell revealed he intended to sue the paper for libel over its report that claimed he called police officers outside No.10 “plebs” during the now infamous argument at the gates.

Mitchell is also clearly a bit miffed at the prime minster for wanting to make the scandal go away. "I think Downing Street wanted this to go away. They really wanted me to lie low and let them get on with running the country but I couldn't do that - I couldn't wake up every morning for the rest of my life knowing that I had been stitched up," he Mitchell.

4) BIDEN BACK IN TOWN

Joe Biden is in town today to meet Cameron and Nick Clegg. He flew into Stanstead, lucky him, last night and will attend a meeting of the National Security Council later today. He is also likely to raise the issue of the European Union and Britain's place in it.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR: Here is a gallery of photos showing Biden looking cool in aviators and fist bumping people.

5) DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER'S LIAISON

At 4pm the Liaison committee will grill, or rather gently warm, Nick Clegg on various areas of government policy. Usually the committee, made up of the select committee chairs, only convenes to question the prime minister. So parliamentary geeks, including your editor, are super excited and naturally assume this will be carried live on BBC and Sky. Although it does clash on TV with Antique’s Road Show – so you watch that, we’ll watch Clegg for you.

6) PLANE CRAZY

Let’s have jump jets. Wait, no lets have carrier jets. OK. No let’s have jump jets.

The Ministry of Defence was strongly criticised by MPs today over the "flawed" decision to switch fighter aircraft for the Royal Navy's new carriers - costing an extra £100m.

It was announced in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review that the Government would adopt the carrier variant of the US-built F35 Joint Strike Fighter rather than the "jump jet" version chosen by the previous Labour government.

Ministers argued that the carrier variant was a more capable aircraft and that it would increase "interoperability" with other navies - even though it meant mothballing one of the two carriers on grounds of affordability.

However last May, defence secretary Philip Hammond announced the MoD was reverting to the jump jet version amid fears the costs of fitting the necessary catapults and arrestor gear - "cats and traps" - were spiralling out of control.

7) INDEPENDENCE DAY

From the BBC: The Scottish government has drawn up a detailed paper outlining the possible transition to independence.

Under the plans, based on a "yes" vote in a 2014 referendum, independence day for Scotland would be in March 2016. The first elections to an independent parliament would follow in May.

8) ‘GLOBAL KIDNAP’

The U.S. counterterrorism practice known as extraordinary rendition, in which suspects were quietly moved to secret prisons abroad and often tortured, involved the participation of more than 50 nations, according to a new report to be released Tuesday by the Open Society Foundations.

The OSF report, which offers the first wholesale public accounting of the top-secret program, puts the number of governments that either hosted CIA "black sites," interrogated or tortured prisoners sent by the U.S., or otherwise collaborated in the program at 54. The report also identifies by name 136 prisoners who were at some point subjected to extraordinary rendition.

The number of nations and the names of those detained provide a stark tally of a program that was expanded widely -- critics say recklessly -- by the George W. Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and has been heavily condemned in the years since.

9) DRONE WARS

A report Monday night on the nature of the administration's drone program has the potential to dramatically revamp the debate over President Barack Obama's foreign policy and the confirmation process for his incoming cabinet.

The report, by Michael Isikoff of NBC News, reveals that the Obama administration believes that high-level administration officials -- not just the president -- may order the killing of “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or an associated force even without evidence they are actively plotting against the U.S.

“A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination,” states the Justice Department white paper quoted by Isikoff.

10) YES MINISTER

Cabinet ministers should be given the power formally to appoint their most senior civil servants to help end a culture of amateurism in Whitehall, according to an independent think tank.

Insiders, including ministers and key officials, have painted a bleak picture of the inner workings of government telling of a system that lacks expertise and deals with "appalling" members of staff by promoting them out.

They told Reform that the two biggest issues hampering success were the "relentless" rotation of officials and an unwillingness to challenge bad performance or reward the good.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@ChrisBryantMP Changing the law changes attitudes. Even MPs who voted against civil partnerships will vote for Same Sex Marriage today.

@janemerrick23 Today is a very good day to bury bad views #gaymarriage #equalmarriage

@jameschappers Angela Eagle just owned Charles Moore. Good courteous debate, though - don't expect it'll be same in Commons later #today

900 WORDS OR MORE

Rachel Sylvester in The Times: "Chris Huhne’s fall was personal, not political. But in today’s Westminster pressure cooker that counts for nothing."

Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph: "Could Chris Huhne take Nick Clegg or David Cameron with him?"

Steve Richards in the Independent: "Gay marriage: no one can stop this social revolution now."

Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: Gay Wedding Day

The ten things you need to know on Tuesday 5 February 2013...

1) WEDDING DAY

Tory MPs opposed to gay marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace. Although what is more likely to happen is: Speak later on today, probably lose the vote, and then carry on chatting about how awful it is for a bit longer.

MPs will vote on gay marriage later today. The coalition will get its Bill passed second reading given it has the support of Labour. But David Cameron will be keen to convince at least half of his 303 MPs to follow him through the ‘aye’ lobby. Winning a vote despite, rather than because, of your own party is never a good look for a prime minister.

Maria Miller sat down with HuffPost UK yesterday ahead of today’s vote and denied reports pressure was being put on MPs to vote in favour of her Bill. The culture secretary also insisted she would not be backing down in the face of fierce opposition from within her own party. Miller, who pointed to the abolition of the slave trade as proof of her party’s progressive tradition, said it was not good enough to deny people the right to marry simply because they are gay. "Marriage is an important part of our society, it’s a vital way that people can publically state their relationships and I don’t think it’s for the state to stand in the way of that happening simply based on someone’s sexuality,” she said.

The Daily Mail reports this morning that Iain Duncan Smith, who famously backed Section 28 while Tory leader in 2003, will vote with Cameron in favour of gay marriage.

And William Hague, Theresa May and George Osborne have written a joint letter to the Daily Telegraph urging their colleagues to support same-sex marriage. The “big guns”, as the paper describes them, argue, “attitudes to gay people have changed”.

During the vote eyes will be on their cabinet colleagues, including environment secretary Owen Paterson and Welsh secretary David Jones, who are known to have concerns about gay marriage.

Speaking of Paterson. He does appear to have a habit of appointing ministerial aides who then shortly afterwards resign the post after rebelling against the government. His current PPS, David Burrowes, has told the Spectator that he intends to vote against the timetable of the bill, which is whipped, as well as the substantive intent of the legislation, which is not. This could lead to the leading anti-gay marriage MP losing his job.

Today’s Memo is edited by Ned Simons as Mehdi Hasan can’t be dragged away from YouTube clips of Beyonce’s Sunday night Super Bowel performance.

2) ‘GO FOR THE KILL’

A failed marriage is at the centre of today’s other big story. Yesterday former Lib Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne shocked Westminster by pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice after asking his wife to accept speeding points on his behalf.

Tragically the evidence revealed as series of text messages between Huhne and his son, revealing the teenager’s anger at his father: "We all know that you were driving and you put pressure on mum. Accept it or face the consequences. You've told me that was the case. Or will this be another lie?"

Huhne will resign his seat in the Commons, trigging a by-election in his Eastleigh seat. The south coast constituency is a Lib Dem-Tory marginal and will be the first proper electoral fight between the coalition partners since 2010. The Daily Mail reports Cameron has told Tory campaign headquarters to “go for the kill” in the battle for the seat.

3) SUING THE SUN

If Huhne’s son is annoyed at him, then the former energy secretary’s one time cabinet colleague, Andrew Mitchell, is equally angry with The Sun.

In an interview with Channel 4’s Despatches last night, Mitchell revealed he intended to sue the paper for libel over its report that claimed he called police officers outside No.10 “plebs” during the now infamous argument at the gates.

Mitchell is also clearly a bit miffed at the prime minster for wanting to make the scandal go away. "I think Downing Street wanted this to go away. They really wanted me to lie low and let them get on with running the country but I couldn't do that - I couldn't wake up every morning for the rest of my life knowing that I had been stitched up," he Mitchell.

4) BIDEN BACK IN TOWN

Joe Biden is in town today to meet Cameron and Nick Clegg. He flew into Stanstead, lucky him, last night and will attend a meeting of the National Security Council later today. He is also likely to raise the issue of the European Union and Britain's place in it.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR: Here is a gallery of photos showing Biden looking cool in aviators and fist bumping people.

5) DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER'S LIAISON

At 4pm the Liaison committee will grill, or rather gently warm, Nick Clegg on various areas of government policy. Usually the committee, made up of the select committee chairs, only convenes to question the prime minister. So parliamentary geeks, including your editor, are super excited and naturally assume this will be carried live on BBC and Sky. Although it does clash on TV with Antique’s Road Show – so you watch that, we’ll watch Clegg for you.

6) PLANE CRAZY

Let’s have jump jets. Wait, no lets have carrier jets. OK. No let’s have jump jets.

The Ministry of Defence was strongly criticised by MPs today over the "flawed" decision to switch fighter aircraft for the Royal Navy's new carriers - costing an extra £100m.

It was announced in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review that the Government would adopt the carrier variant of the US-built F35 Joint Strike Fighter rather than the "jump jet" version chosen by the previous Labour government.

Ministers argued that the carrier variant was a more capable aircraft and that it would increase "interoperability" with other navies - even though it meant mothballing one of the two carriers on grounds of affordability.

However last May, defence secretary Philip Hammond announced the MoD was reverting to the jump jet version amid fears the costs of fitting the necessary catapults and arrestor gear - "cats and traps" - were spiralling out of control.

7) INDEPENDENCE DAY

From the BBC: The Scottish government has drawn up a detailed paper outlining the possible transition to independence.

Under the plans, based on a "yes" vote in a 2014 referendum, independence day for Scotland would be in March 2016. The first elections to an independent parliament would follow in May.

8) ‘GLOBAL KIDNAP’

The U.S. counterterrorism practice known as extraordinary rendition, in which suspects were quietly moved to secret prisons abroad and often tortured, involved the participation of more than 50 nations, according to a new report to be released Tuesday by the Open Society Foundations.

The OSF report, which offers the first wholesale public accounting of the top-secret program, puts the number of governments that either hosted CIA "black sites," interrogated or tortured prisoners sent by the U.S., or otherwise collaborated in the program at 54. The report also identifies by name 136 prisoners who were at some point subjected to extraordinary rendition.

The number of nations and the names of those detained provide a stark tally of a program that was expanded widely -- critics say recklessly -- by the George W. Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and has been heavily condemned in the years since.

9) DRONE WARS

A report Monday night on the nature of the administration's drone program has the potential to dramatically revamp the debate over President Barack Obama's foreign policy and the confirmation process for his incoming cabinet.

The report, by Michael Isikoff of NBC News, reveals that the Obama administration believes that high-level administration officials -- not just the president -- may order the killing of “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or an associated force even without evidence they are actively plotting against the U.S.

“A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination,” states the Justice Department white paper quoted by Isikoff.

10) YES MINISTER

Cabinet ministers should be given the power formally to appoint their most senior civil servants to help end a culture of amateurism in Whitehall, according to an independent think tank.

Insiders, including ministers and key officials, have painted a bleak picture of the inner workings of government telling of a system that lacks expertise and deals with "appalling" members of staff by promoting them out.

They told Reform that the two biggest issues hampering success were the "relentless" rotation of officials and an unwillingness to challenge bad performance or reward the good.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@ChrisBryantMP Changing the law changes attitudes. Even MPs who voted against civil partnerships will vote for Same Sex Marriage today.

@janemerrick23 Today is a very good day to bury bad views #gaymarriage #equalmarriage

@jameschappers Angela Eagle just owned Charles Moore. Good courteous debate, though - don't expect it'll be same in Commons later #today

900 WORDS OR MORE

Rachel Sylvester in The Times: "Chris Huhne’s fall was personal, not political. But in today’s Westminster pressure cooker that counts for nothing."

Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph: "Could Chris Huhne take Nick Clegg or David Cameron with him?"

Steve Richards in the Independent: "Gay marriage: no one can stop this social revolution now."

Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

MoD attacked over jets decision

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been strongly criticised by MPs over the "flawed" decision to switch fighter aircraft for the Royal Navy's new carriers . It was announced in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review that the Government would ad...

MoD Criticised Over F35 Joint Strike Fighter Decision

The Ministry of Defence was strongly criticised by MPs today over the "flawed" decision to switch fighter aircraft for the Royal Navy's new carriers .

It was announced in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review that the Government would adopt the carrier variant of the US-built F35 Joint Strike Fighter rather than the "jump jet" version chosen by the previous Labour government.

Ministers argued that the carrier variant was a more capable aircraft and that it would increase "interoperability" with other navies - even though it meant mothballing one of the two carriers on grounds of affordability.

However last May, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced the MoD was reverting to the jump jet version amid fears the costs of fitting the necessary catapults and arrestor gear - "cats and traps" - were spiralling out of control.

In a highly critical report, the Commons Defence Committee said the 2010 decision to go for the carrier variant was a mistake which led to increased costs and further delays to the carrier programme.

"It is clear that the decision was rushed and based upon incomplete and inaccurate policy development. It was taken without the MoD understanding how the change could be implemented," the committee said.

"Perhaps the primary example of how little the MoD understood about this decision is the fact that it was supposed to improve interoperability. This turned out to be incorrect.

"We urge the MoD to learn the lessons of this closed, rushed and flawed decision of 2010."

The committee also complained that the lack of a proper defence industrial strategy put the UK at a disadvantage compared with competitor countries.

It said that such a strategy should combine a commitment to maintain the ability of the UK to act nationally with an understanding of where a level mutual interdependence or partnership with allies is acceptable.

"We do not understand how we can have confidence in a national security strategy which does not show a clear grasp of what is needed for the defence of the United Kingdom, and how this can be ensured," the committee said.

"The overriding reason for the purchase of any item of defence equipment must be its quality and the requirements of the armed forces. We consider nonetheless that the Government should take into account in buying equipment the enhanced opportunities for export of equipment in use by UK armed forces."

Defence equipment minister Philip Dunne said the MoD's newly published 10-year equipment plan would ensure the armed forces get the hardware they need in the years ahead.

"The increased financial contingency will help cover future risk and make our equipment programme affordable. There is also greater information for industry about our priorities, helping them to invest in the future capabilities our troops need," he said.

He insisted that the switch to the carrier variant of the F35 had been "right at the time", but that "unacceptable cost growth, technical risk and project delays" meant the decision to revert to the jump jet was "in the best interest of defence".

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said: "This is another blow to the country's confidence in the Government's competence on defence.

"Days after confusion and contradiction on defence spending the chaos of the aircraft carrier decision is laid bare.

"This wasted time and money led to a serious capability gap and exposed lacking knowledge of defence procurement.

"The UK has paid at least an extra £100 million to have no aircraft to fly from an aircraft carrier for years.

"This is an important report. Industry have warned that without a defence industrial strategy tens of thousands of jobs are at risk and now influential experts outline the damage and competitive disadvantage brought by its absence.

"There is a loss of skills, contradictions in export policy, worries over investment in science and no strategy to support sovereign capabilities.

"A new industrial strategy must improve the speed of procurement, share the burden of risk with industry, support small businesses and strengthen collaboration between companies, the Department and the military.

"Labour has consistently called for a defence industrial strategy and our procurement review chimes with this report's analysis. Ministers must respond, listen to these arguments and change course."

MoD Criticised Over F35 Joint Strike Fighter Decision

The Ministry of Defence was strongly criticised by MPs today over the "flawed" decision to switch fighter aircraft for the Royal Navy's new carriers .

It was announced in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review that the Government would adopt the carrier variant of the US-built F35 Joint Strike Fighter rather than the "jump jet" version chosen by the previous Labour government.

Ministers argued that the carrier variant was a more capable aircraft and that it would increase "interoperability" with other navies - even though it meant mothballing one of the two carriers on grounds of affordability.

However last May, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced the MoD was reverting to the jump jet version amid fears the costs of fitting the necessary catapults and arrestor gear - "cats and traps" - were spiralling out of control.

In a highly critical report, the Commons Defence Committee said the 2010 decision to go for the carrier variant was a mistake which led to increased costs and further delays to the carrier programme.

"It is clear that the decision was rushed and based upon incomplete and inaccurate policy development. It was taken without the MoD understanding how the change could be implemented," the committee said.

"Perhaps the primary example of how little the MoD understood about this decision is the fact that it was supposed to improve interoperability. This turned out to be incorrect.

"We urge the MoD to learn the lessons of this closed, rushed and flawed decision of 2010."

The committee also complained that the lack of a proper defence industrial strategy put the UK at a disadvantage compared with competitor countries.

It said that such a strategy should combine a commitment to maintain the ability of the UK to act nationally with an understanding of where a level mutual interdependence or partnership with allies is acceptable.

"We do not understand how we can have confidence in a national security strategy which does not show a clear grasp of what is needed for the defence of the United Kingdom, and how this can be ensured," the committee said.

"The overriding reason for the purchase of any item of defence equipment must be its quality and the requirements of the armed forces. We consider nonetheless that the Government should take into account in buying equipment the enhanced opportunities for export of equipment in use by UK armed forces."

Defence equipment minister Philip Dunne said the MoD's newly published 10-year equipment plan would ensure the armed forces get the hardware they need in the years ahead.

"The increased financial contingency will help cover future risk and make our equipment programme affordable. There is also greater information for industry about our priorities, helping them to invest in the future capabilities our troops need," he said.

He insisted that the switch to the carrier variant of the F35 had been "right at the time", but that "unacceptable cost growth, technical risk and project delays" meant the decision to revert to the jump jet was "in the best interest of defence".

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said: "This is another blow to the country's confidence in the Government's competence on defence.

"Days after confusion and contradiction on defence spending the chaos of the aircraft carrier decision is laid bare.

"This wasted time and money led to a serious capability gap and exposed lacking knowledge of defence procurement.

"The UK has paid at least an extra £100 million to have no aircraft to fly from an aircraft carrier for years.

"This is an important report. Industry have warned that without a defence industrial strategy tens of thousands of jobs are at risk and now influential experts outline the damage and competitive disadvantage brought by its absence.

"There is a loss of skills, contradictions in export policy, worries over investment in science and no strategy to support sovereign capabilities.

"A new industrial strategy must improve the speed of procurement, share the burden of risk with industry, support small businesses and strengthen collaboration between companies, the Department and the military.

"Labour has consistently called for a defence industrial strategy and our procurement review chimes with this report's analysis. Ministers must respond, listen to these arguments and change course."

Special Forces Facing 600 Job Losses

Britain's Special Forces Support Group (SFSG) is to lose 600 roles, prompting fears that it will hamper the fighting capability of elite units such as the SAS.

The Ministry of Defence has drawn up plans to restructure the SFSG which was expanded to cope with the demands of the the war on terror, reports the Sun.

The SFSG provide logistical and intelligence support to elite units and the MoD believe there is no longer the demand as troops are gradually withdrawn from Afghanistan.

sas

Britain's elite forces play a crucial but rarely acknowledged role

According to Sky News, no personel will actually lose their jobs. Members of the SFSG are drawn from other units so members will return to their original positions.

The move comes as prime minister David Cameron pledged to commit UK forces to a "generational struggle" against terrorism in North Africa.

One source speaking to the Sun said: “It is utter madness at a time when we need to be investing in special forces.

"If these cuts go ahead it will leave us over-stretched for years to come.”

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: Not So Fast Dave

The ten things you need to know on Wednesday 30th January 2013...

1) NOT SO FAST DAVE

Hurrah! From the Huffington Post:

"David Cameron’s hopes of limiting the impact of the 2015 TV debates by staging them before the election campaign gets underway appear dead in the water, after the head of Sky News torpedoed the idea.

"... [S]peaking to The Huffington Post UK, John Ryley, the head of Sky News, flatly rejected the idea.

"'Well, we believe the debates need to take place during the election campaign to be relevant to the voters," he said. "It would be bizarre to hold the debates while Parliament is sitting.'

"Ryley reminded Cameron of his threat to 'empty chair' Gordon Brown in 2010 if he refused to take part and said it would 'bad for democracy, bad for politics, and bad form' if Cameron tried to duck the debates."

Bad luck, Dave. Ryley - a former boss of mine - is a tough, no-nonsense character. It looks like those debates are going to happen - with or without the PM...

Meanwhile, if you read the full HuffPost UK feature on the 2015 TV debates - by Ned Simons and me - you'll learn, among other things, that senior Labour sources are suggesting Nick Clegg's time be cut and redistributed to Ed Miliband. Read our full piece here.

2) GAMBLING ON GAY MARRIAGE

From the Times splash:

"David Cameron is under mounting pressure to push through tax breaks for married couples as a way of averting a Tory rupture over gay marriage.

"Ministers are pressing Downing Street to make a Budget announcement in March implementing the party's promise to reward married couples in the tax system. Cabinet sources told The Times that George Osborne should act 'sooner rather than later' and that the Budget would be 'a good time to placate an awful lot of people'.

"MPs plan to use the coming weeks to warn a reluctant Chancellor that he will increase the risk of losing lifelong Tories from the party unless he acts."

It's a bizarre proposal - but Dave is desperate. Next week, MPs vote on the coalition's bill to introduce same-sex marriage and it's expected that almost half of the party's 303 MPs will vote against, on a free vote.

3) NASTY NICK

Was yesterday the day the Tory dream of a 2015 Commons majority finally came to an end? And were 'Nasty Nick' and his rebellious Lib Dems to blame? My colleague Ned Simons reports:

"Nick Clegg took his revenge on David Cameron today by successfully killing Tory hopes of redrawing the electoral map in a way that would aid the prime minister's reelection, prompting a serious rift between the coalition parties.

"Lib Dem and Labour MPs cheered as they narrowly defeated by 334 votes to 292 an attempt by the Conservative Party to change the number and size of constituencies before 2015.

"In an unprecedented move reflecting the split between coalition parties on the issue, Cameron agreed to suspend the requirement for government ministers to exercise collective responsibility for the vote."

Remember ConHome editor Tim Montgomerie's reaction to the boundary review failure last August? He called it the "worst single electoral setback [for the Tories] since Black Wednesday". Indeed it is...

4) DAVE THE WARRIOR

Today, as a story on the front of the Guardian reports, David Cameron will become

"... the first western leader to visit Algeria since the recent terrorist assault on the country's gas installations that left 35 foreign energy workers dead and saw 36 militants killed by Algerian security forces. Cameron's show of solidarity at the meeting in Algiers comes amid Tory fears that the prime minister is being slowly sucked into a long-term military conflict in the region, symbolised by his decision to send 330 British military personnel to the region to train African troops and support the French intervention in Mali."

Meanwhile, the FT reports that Cameron and George Osborne are "under pressure from Tory MPs to shield the armed forces from further defence cuts in this year's spending review, as the military is dispatched to a new war zone in Mali". And the Telegraph splashes on the threat to the SAS from "new defence cuts".

5) 'MALI WAR COULD BE BRITAIN'S VIETNAM'

That's the headline in the Mirror, which reports on Dave's decision to send another 200 British troops to train an African intervention force (taking the total UK deployment to 330) and quotes former cabinet minister Frank Dobson's comments in the Commons yesterday:

"The American catastrophe in Vietnam started with American troops in a training capacity."

Indeed it did - JFK hid behind the phrase 'military advisers'. Dobson's remarks were echoed by, of all people, Sir Mike Jackson, former chief of the armed forces, who supports the Mali deployment but also warns that a highly successful "conventional" conflict could give way to "a protracted guerrilla warfare away from the conurbations".

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch this video of a kid who's won over the internet with his dance moves during a break in the recent Houston Rockets vs Indiana Pacers basketball game.

6) TORTURE INC

The Guardian's award-winning Ian Cobain reports:

"Allegations that British troops in Iraq were responsible for the widespread and systemic abuse of detainees through "terrifying acts of brutality, abuse and intimidation" were raised in the high court yesterday as lawyers representing former prisoners demanded a public inquiry.

"More than a thousand former prisoners complain that they were severely mistreated after being detained by the British military during the five-year occupation of the south-east of the country, while others - including women and children - say they were abused when their male relatives were being detained.

"... The hearing is the latest skirmish in a three-year legal battle between lawyers for the former detainees and the Ministry of Defence (MoD)."

On a related note, HuffPost UK will be hosting a public debate on Iraq - 'Was It Worth It? Iraq, Ten Years On' - on 7 February at 7pm at Goldsmiths, University of London. Speakers include former cabinet minister Clare Short, Times columnist David Aaronovitch, the Independent's Owen Jones and yours truly. Get your free tickets here.

7) 'BROTHERLY SHOVE'

This is my favourite headline from the morning papers - from the Sun, which reveals:

"Ed Miliband was talked out of matching the Tories' EU referendum pledge — by his brother David.

"The under-fire Labour leader's refusal to offer a nationwide vote on Britain's membership has infuriated some senior party figures.

"One claimed Ed vetoed the idea after his older sibling sneered it was 'too populist'."

Meanwhile, the BBC reminds us that "MPs will have their first chance later to discuss the UK's future in Europe since David Cameron promised to hold a referendum on UK membership if he wins the next general election... The Commons debate will take place after Prime Minister's Questions."

Perhaps, just perhaps, we'll get some clarity on what Labour's referendum position actually is, and what the Tories will do if the Europeans don't agree to a 'renegotiation'. But I wouldn't hold your breath.

8) BANKERS NOT SO BASHED

More good news from the world of finance. From the Independent:

"Royal Bank of Scotland is facing criminal charges in the US over allegations its traders tried to fix Libor interest rates, it emerged yesterday.

"... It came as Britain's financial watchdog admitted that top bankers had escaped sanction for misdeeds during the financial crisis because it was 'easier to get the little guys' under Britain's regulatory system."

RBS, says the report, is likely to pay around £500m in fines - but still wants to pay out £250m in bonuses to its investment bankers. You could not make this stuff up.

9) PUSHED INTO POVERTY

From the Guardian:

"Thousands of children and their families who have sought refuge in the UK have been pushed into severe poverty by the low levels of asylum support, a parliamentary inquiry has revealed, concluding that the support system for asylum seekers is in urgent need of reform.

"The inquiry found evidence of children being left destitute and homeless, without state support, and forced to rely on food parcels."

The chair of this cross-party inquiry? Er, the former children's minister Sarah Teather MP.

10) STREWTH!

They're going to the polls down under. Well, not quite yet. From the BBC:

"Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called a general election for 14 September... She said the announcement, eight months in advance, was "not to start the nation's longest election campaign" but to give 'shape and order' to the year."

"... Opinion polls suggest that the opposition, led by Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott, would win an election if the polls were held now."

Oh dear. For a laugh, though, (re)watch this classic video of Gillard tearing strips out of the "sexist" Abbott in the Australian House of Representatives.

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From today's Sun/YouGov poll:

Labour 42
Conservatives 33
Lib Dems 11
Ukip 8

That would give Labour a majority of 96.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@ShippersUnbound Tory MPs selling shares in Jesse Norman after Lords rebellion sinks boundary changes. One texts to say: 'Jesse Norman: t***.'

@jameschappers What issue will Tory MPs pick for revenge on LibDems for last night's boundaries vote? (Labour are calling it 'Twit for Twat politics')

@heavencrawley "Clear examples from the past show no correlation between levels of support and numbers of asylum seekers in the UK". Finally, some sense.

900 WORDS OR MORE

Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister, writing in the Times, says: "Berlin shares Mr Cameron’s desire for reform in Brussels but not his vision for Europe."

Simon Jenkins, writing in the Guardian, says: "UK intervention in Mali treads a familiar – and doomed – path."

Mary Riddell, writing in the Telegraph, says: "Britain badly needs an Abraham Lincoln who will think big and act big."


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Mali: British Troops May Join French Mission

A decision to send an EU force to train soldiers in Mali is expected to be made in Brussels soon.

The deployment would include a small British contingent, likely to number in the 'tens'.

Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence are still saying there is no question of combat troops but the Prime Minister has told President Francois Hollande that he is ready to offer more support for the French mission.

The two leaders spoke on Sunday night and Sir Kim Darroch, the Government’s national security adviser, was in Paris for further talks on Monday.

The plan for an EU training mission in west Africa was made late last year but minds were focused when the French military began its mission in Mali.

The UK has already sent two C-17 transport aircraft to help ferry troops and equipment around.

One has left after flying for the initial weekend of the conflict while the second remains on indeterminate loan.

Last Friday, it was announced that a Sentinel aircraft had taken off for Mali to provide surveillance and intelligence gathering capabilities.

It is understood that Britain will add further support to the French mission along these lines.

In recent days, French forces have pushed deep into the north of the country, entering the towns of Gao and Timbuktu.

President Hollande has said they are "winning this battle" and French soldiers appeared to meet little resistance as they seized Timbuktu from Islamists as part of their offensive against the radicals who have controlled the country's vast desert north for 10 months.

Speaking from the historic city of Timbuktu, Sky News Special Correspondent Alex Crawford said any British soldiers would help Malian troops prepare for a future without French troops through training and logistical expertise.

She estimated around 30 or 40 British troops would be sent "to bolster" the Malian forces, which she described as "very depleted".

The Hidden War on Nature

world

Western governments are blind to the campaign they should be waging, that of climate change, the degradation of the environment and the destruction of the natural world upon which all humanity depends.

We have been told for years about the catastrophic felling of the rain forests; the reduction of tiger, gorilla, whale or bluefin tuna populations; the extinction of countless species of small insects, reptiles, birds and plants; and the loss of biodiversity and habitats in far-off lands.  But closer to home and far more subtle is the gentle, almost invisible eating away of the environment and its protections by governments, even while they prate about destruction elsewhere.  It is happening in all those countries whose governments are in thrall and tied to big business and making money regardless of tomorrow.  It is happening near you.  And it is accompanied by a lot of cynical promises, pledges and ‘public consultations’ that the genuine public never seem to be involved in.

Politicians kowtow to voters’ concerns by parading their ‘green’ credentials, but statements are cheap.  So are new logos.  Back in 2006 the Conservatives, recognising that many voters were tired of the lack of environmental action by the Labour government, produced the new Tory logo , a scribbled tree.  Meant to show off new green credentials, what it really suggests is that all things green can be rubbed out and redrawn to suit the Tory agenda.  At the same time David Cameron demonstrated just how green he was by flying up to the Arctic Circle for a photo-shoot with huskies.  Bearing in mind that the Tories are the party of the ‘landed gentry’ who own an awful lot of Britain (only 0.6 per cent of the UK’s population owns 50 per cent of our rural land), how green have they proved to be?

When Cameron became Prime Minister he said he was going to head the ‘greenest government ever’. They showed their true colours when they announced the sell-off of publicly-owned forests to private buyers.  Such was the outcry from people waking up to the realisation that ‘their’ woods meant a lot to them, that a U turn was taken and the policy finally scrapped.  But it was clear that the only value our beloved countryside had for the Tories was monetary.

Having to manage a large national debt, they announced massive cuts in the budgets of various ministries.  Fair enough – but look at this:  Defra (Department for Environment, Farming & Rural Affairs) was asked to cut its small annual budget of £2.9bn by 25%.  Yet the £46.1bn budget of the Ministry of Defence was only cut by 8%, demonstrating all too clearly where the government’s priorities lie.  Within Defra is the Environment Agency.  A major part of the EA’s role is flood defence work.  Last summer Britain suffered exceptionally wet weather with thousands of homes flooded – not helped by the fact that flood defence schemes had not been built because of the cuts.

In their drive for cuts they have axed, among other bodies, the Renewables Advisory Board, Advisory Committee on Organic Standards, the Commons Commissioners, Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.  Natural England, whose remit is to conserve the natural environment, was threatened, as were Wildlife Trusts across the country.  No change there then.  Back in 1995 a former Conservative government cut the budget of Scottish Natural Heritage, apparently in retaliation for its support of the campaign against the proposed super quarry on the Isle of Harris.

The Tories do not like wildlife.  The Chancellor, George Osborne, accused  the habitats directive, aimed at safeguarding wildlife and biodiversity, of “placing ridiculous costs on British businesses”.  After this country finally banned the hunting of animals (mainly foxes, deer and hares) by dogs in 2004, Tory MPs mutter about repealing the law so they can get back to killing for fun.  And the Heythrop Hunt, which Cameron himself follows, was convicted  last December of illegally hunting foxes.

All birds of prey, protected by law, are seen as enemies of the rich who own large estates and love shooting pheasant and grouse.  Such a man is Owen Paterson, appointed by Cameron to be the Environment Secretary, an appointment that provoked outrage among environmentalists.  His department, Defra, came up with a scheme to deal with the awful threat to young pheasants.  As the RSPB’s conservation director Martin Harper said, “We are shocked by Defra’s plans to destroy buzzard nests and to take buzzards into captivity to protect a non-native game bird released in its millions”.  Pheasants are bred almost entirely for the idle rich to shoot.  And Defra admitted no studies had been done to find out whether buzzards really are a threat.  Another public outcry and a retreat into ‘consultations and studies’.

For many of these people our ‘green and pleasant land’ is not there to be cherished and protected, but simply a place to enjoy yourself in, (the Labour party, urban-oriented as they are, also have little interest in the countryside other than as a place for entertainment).  But even when farming, truly the one essential ‘industry’ as it provides our food, is considered, more killing is proposed.  This time badgers, also protected by law, were the target.  They were to be culled because they are carriers of bovine TB and some of our milk herds are infected.  In vain did people point out that killing the badgers made the survivors move into other TB-free areas.  In vain did people call for cattle or badgers to be vaccinated.  In vain did the government’s chief scientist advise against it.  The killing would go ahead.  Luckily for the badgers, Defra got its figures, timing and finance wrong and the cull has been delayed.  For now.

But the war against the environment is relentless.  If we are down to just one breeding pair of hen harriers, we may also lose that iconic animal of the Highlands, the wildcat.  One of our few remaining predators, the wildcat is about to become extinct in the wild.  But the people who protect these endangered species are also in danger of becoming extinct.  The National Wildlife Crime Unit, a strategic police unit, will probably lose its funding – hardly a great saving: 10 people and a budget of £136,000.  I was told the other day that my county police force has already lost its wildlife officer.  But these are the people who go after and successfully prosecute those who kill our birds of prey.  Funny, that.

Despite pleas the government refused to prevent the import of ash trees until too late and the ash dieback disease is now established in our woodlands.  It refuses to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides that studies say are damaging bees.  As usual it wants even more ‘proof’.  Even where the voters are concerned, its green policies are worthless.  The ‘green deal’, providing subsidies to help people insulate Britain’s cold and draughty homes was introduced in 2012.  It could have made a major contribution in cutting our carbon emissions.  But it then decided to restrict the deal to the very poor (who can’t take up the offer because they don’t own their own homes) with the result that only a tiny percentage of the homes will be insulated.

Last year the GM companies started to promote GM crops again on the premise again that many of the world’s people were starving.  They were backed up by an endless parade of government spokesmen including Owen Paterson insisting that GM food will sort our problems – no worries.  Their campaign was spoilt early this year by a report stating that almost 50% of the world’s food is wasted.  The hunger is a result of how we manage the world, not the earth’s inability to feed us.  But politicians in favour of genetically modified food do gloriously get it wrong at times in their eagerness to earn their biotech wages.

Of course, governments aren’t alone in trying to present themselves as ‘green’.  In 2000 British Petroleum launched a new logo telling us how they were working towards a green sustainable future.  They weren’t the only energy company to take that line, but their corporate-speak doesn’t mention that now.  They’re too busy rushing after Arctic drilling, tar sands or shale gas.  They will have a champion in Paterson who is really enthusiastic about fracking.

Britain isn’t alone in this – far from it.  Wherever you live you will find politicians chipping away at our precious environment on behalf of big business and the rich.  But if they won’t protect the small things, there’s no hope they will take action on the huge issue of climate change.  They are now admitting that the likely global temperature rise will be between 4-6 degrees C by the end of this century, but still pretending this is ‘manageable’.

Life does not depend on money, on economic growth, national interests or politicians.  It depends on the rocks and the soil, the water and the air, the miracle of seeds sprouting and animals giving birth.

Footnote:  just occasionally nature succeeds in getting in the way of ‘progress’.  Great Crested Newts, another protected species, held up the proposed development of the St. Athan Military Academy in Wales.  They’ve done it again!

India parades brand-new intercontinental ballistic missile (PHOTOS)

Missile Agni V is displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)

Missile Agni V is displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)

India used its annual Republic Day parade to display its first-ever intercontinental ballistic missile, just hours after the country’s president made loaded comments about its relationship with long-time antagonist Pakistan.

Republic Day, nominally a national holiday celebrating the introduction of a constitution following independence, is traditionally a display of nationalistic fervor, capped by a massive procession showing off all the latest military hardware.

The pride of place this year was taken by Agni-V, a new-generation missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads as far as China and central Russia, which has been developed at a cost of more than half a billion US dollars. Although the missile underwent a successful test launch in August last year, this was the first time it has been shown to the wider public.

With a range of at least 5,500 km (with some experts claiming its true “classified” reach is actually 8,000 km) the project puts India in an elite club of nuclear superpowers with intercontinental capabilities. The only other countries with such weapons are the US, Russia, UK, France and China (Israel also produces long-range missiles, but does not officially possess nuclear weapons).

Missile Agni V is displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)
Missile Agni V is displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)

The display was covered closely by Chinese media, which have previously reacted warily to India’s desire to develop a longer-range weapon.

Meanwhile, tensions with neighboring Pakistan, with whom India has long had a simmering conflict over the disputed region of Kashmir, was ratcheted up by comments from new President Pranab Mukherjee.

"We believe in peace on the border and are always ready to offer a hand in the hope of friendship… but this hand should not be taken for granted," warned Mukherjee in a speech that was televised twice on the eve and the day of the parade.

The two countries agreed a tentative ceasefire last week after a spate of shootings, killing several border guards in recent months.

Last year India invested nearly $50 billion into its armed forces – making it the world’s seventh biggest national defense spender.

Other prominent display items included a scale model of INS Vikramaditya, a converted Soviet-era aircraft carrier that will enter into service later this year, and Arjun tanks, the mainstay of the country’s modern armed forces.

In this handout photograph received from the Ministry of Defence on January 26, 2013 Indian Army soldiers march down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Defence Ministry)
In this handout photograph received from the Ministry of Defence on January 26, 2013 Indian Army soldiers march down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Defence Ministry)

Indian Air Force bomber aircraft fly past during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)
Indian Air Force bomber aircraft fly past during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)

Indian soldiers march down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)
Indian soldiers march down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)

A float representing the Indian state of West Bengal rolls down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)
A float representing the Indian state of West Bengal rolls down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)

 In this handout photograph received from the Ministry of Defence on January 26, 2013 Indian defence force personell perform stunts on motorcycles on the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Defence Ministry)
In this handout photograph received from the Ministry of Defence on January 26, 2013 Indian defence force personell perform stunts on motorcycles on the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Defence Ministry)

Numbers of India′s main battle tank ′Arjun′ roll down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)
Numbers of India's main battle tank 'Arjun' roll down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/Raveendran)

In this handout photograph received from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) on January 26, 2013 the motorbike riders of the Border Security Force (BSF) perform stunts on the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/PIB/B M Meena)
In this handout photograph received from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) on January 26, 2013 the motorbike riders of the Border Security Force (BSF) perform stunts on the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013. (AFP Photo/PIB/B M Meena)

Danny Alexander says Trident Replacement ‘Not Realistic’

A Government review will provide "credible" alternatives to the like-for-like replacement of Trident, a Cabinet minister said today.

Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander dismissed Tory demands for a new continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent as "not financially realistic".

hms vengeance

HMS Vengeance putting to sea

The junior coalition party insisted on the official review, which is due to report in June, as part of its deal with the Conservatives in May 2010.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Mr Alexander took charge of the study last autumn after Lib Dem defence minister Nick Harvey lost his job in a reshuffle.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Alexander repeated his belief that a like-for-like replacement was not needed.

"Given all the financial pressures across the whole of the public sector, all the things the Government has to do and wants to pay for, and all the pressures in different areas, I just think the idea that somehow, out of thin air, we can carve a multibillion pocket to pay for this, that is not financially realistic," he said.

"We are in a position where the costs of the successor have to be paid for from within the Ministry of Defence budget. There is no magic pot of money that is going to be created out of thin air to go on top of that. As a Government, we have been very clear about that. Certainly myself and the Chancellor."

Mr Alexander went on: "I would expect we will be able to set out serious, credible arguments and potential alternatives.

"I hope (the review) will open up a wide debate, in the public, among experts and the community, around the approach we take to nuclear deterrence."

The Government is spending around £1.4 billion on early design work for Trident replacement submarines, but the final decision about whether to go ahead - known as the "main gate" - is not due until after the general election.

Revolving Wars: Towards An Age of Constant and Perpetual Conflict

british empire

We have entered an age of constant conflict….Only the foolish will fight fair. Lt Col Ralph Peters

It seems to be a worldwide given that senior politicians and military personnel make use of the revolving door when they retire from politics, and mostly it involves getting highly-paid directorships in arms manufacturing and other defence-related businesses.  Britain’s record is as good as it gets – depending on your interpretation of ‘good’.

For example: Lord Reid, Defence Secretary to G4S; Michael Portillo, Defence Secretary to BAE Systems; Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, chief of staff to BAE Systems; Admiral Sir John Slater, to Lockheed Martin UK; Major-General Graham Binns to Aegis Defence Services; Sir Kevin Tebbit, MoD permanent under-secretary to Finmeccanica UK, owner of Westlands; David Gould, MoD procurement to Selex Systems, part of Finmeccanica; and Lady Taylor, defence equipment minister then minister for international defence and security until May 2010.  In December 2010 she joined the arms contractor Thales.  This last revolver is particularly indefensible, seeing that as the procurement minister she oversaw a huge budget deficit, much of it caused by a contract with Thales.

According to research done by the Guardian, senior military officers and Ministry of Defence officials have taken up more than 3,500 jobs in arms companies over the past 16 years.  Let’s not forget the civil servants who follow the same route.

And what of the rule that prohibits them from taking a post related to their governmental responsibilities too soon after leaving office?  (Mind you, other members of the great and good also benefit from revolving doors.  Archbishop Rowan Williams, giving his final sermon in Canterbury Cathedral before retiring, exhorted his flock to give more respect to the elderly (apparently including those in their late fifties) who are ignored, marginalised and unable to gain or keep a job consistent with their qualifications and experience.  Then he tottered off to a comfortable ‘retirement’ (housing and servants included) as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.)

But, with such a well-trodden path from Defence to Arms, it is no wonder that to a man and woman they’re all gung-ho for war, wherever it might be – all in the name of defending our country’s interests of course.  It is also no wonder that we are now engaged in a revolving war.

Prime Ministers don’t help.  David Cameron likes travelling abroad with an escort of arms manufacturers and dealers, taking them to Cairo’s Tahrir Square only days after Mubarak fell.  Late last year he was in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan, drumming up business for arms manufacturers while telling the world he is on the side of peace and democracy, neither of which he appears to care for when money is on the table.

None of these people recognise that international law says a state can only wage war on another state if the second state has physically attacked the first – not threatening the state or their interests or by possessing weapons of mass destruction – which we sold them.  They get round all that by drafting a UN resolution which allows them to ‘intervene’ in the name of peace.  Or they do it under the umbrella of Nato, which seems to have greatly increased the area covered by the North Atlantic.  Or they give themselves fancy titles like ISAF (International Security Assistance Force).  And they hope that no one notices that all of this is illegal, that they are interfering in countries that are truly no threat to our safety but are often resource rich.

Since 9/11 and the illegal ‘war on terror’ no war is ever won nor does it actually end.  It simply migrates.  So we went into Afghanistan, then Iraq, then turned our attention back to Afghanistan.  Drones took the war into the Yemen and Pakistan, then into Somalia.  We took sides in Libya, provided ‘support’ including illegal boots on the ground and arms to the rebels, and reduced much of Tripoli and Misrata to rubble with air strikes.  We took sides again over Syria, supporting the rebels (a dodgy term this, seeing that many of the fighters hold non-Syrian passports) against ‘the regime’ although we haven’t yet sent in troops.  There are constant mutterings about Iran.  And now Mali – and more innocent civilians will be killed, not by their own people but by French air strikes.

President Hollande is worried about Islamists ‘on Europe’s doorstep’.  Unless Europe has expanded since I last looked, his geography is a little at fault.  I’d interpret ‘on Europe’s doorstep’ as being something that was literally on the border of a European state, which Mali isn’t, although it had the misfortune of being a French colony.  But on our doorstep?  No.

Admittedly Europe in its imperial and colonial heyday treated Africa as its backyard, much as the US has treated South and Central America.  Most people’s backyards used to contain the outside toilet and a vegetable patch.  In the colonial backyards we still dump our rubbish but instead of potatoes we did, and still do, dig for gold, diamonds, oil and other goodies to put on the corporate plate.

Of course the UK was only ‘helping’ France by providing transport planes, planes which had to be diverted from their commitments to Afghanistan, because we really don’t have the equipment to fight all these wars.  No troops on the ground, oh no, no!  Ah… well… maybe some to help train the government forces.  Haven’t we heard that before?  Where next?  Which country will be accused of housing ‘Al Qaeda’ or other ‘Islamist rebels’?  Hardly had one asked the question when the crisis in Algeria reared its head.  We have to get involved now – after all we have nationals working at the In Amenas gas plant, prompting Hilary Clinton to come out with the very silly statement that, as hostages’ lives were in danger, ‘utmost care must be taken to preserve innocent life.’  When did that ever truly bother Western leaders as they sent in the drones?  But, of course, it is only our innocent lives that matter.

So, from Mali to Algeria, to the whole of North Africa?  Cameron, Prime Ministerial as ever, said that a diplomatic response would not be enough to tackle the growing terrorist threat in North Africa, and that Britain faced ‘a large and existential threat from organisations like Al Qaeda in the Magreb’.  Didn’t Tony Blair tell us that Saddam posed a ‘real and existential threat to Britain’?  Has it not occurred to people like Cameron and Clinton that much of the problem (apart from the West’s desire to control other people’s resources) has been their love of sending in the troops rather than diplomats? One thing you can be sure of – those dreaded people we are waging war upon will probably, at some point, have been supplied with our weapons.

British soldier who died from wounds named

A British soldier who died in hospital from wounds suffered in combat in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

The MoD said Kingsman David Robert Shaw, from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on January 16.

Kingsman Shaw sustained a gun shot wound when his checkpoint came under attack from insurgents in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province on January 14.

The 23-year-old soldier was from Barrow-in-Furness and joined the Army in February, 2008.

Kingsman Shaw was a qualified sharpshooter and an assault pioneer, and died on his second deployment to Afghanistan.

The family of Kingsman Shaw said: "David was a much-loved son and brother who was proud to have served his country in the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

"He loved his family and friends and would always make time for a hug for everybody. He enjoyed playing football, running and was an Arsenal fan.

"He also followed his local team, Barrow AFC. He has touched many lives. He will be missed and never forgotten."

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Wood, commanding officer of the battalion, added: "The death of Kingsman David Shaw is a devastating tragedy. The loss of our fallen comrade, who has fought so bravely and fiercely for three months, is deeply felt by all..."

"David was a true Cumbrian and Kingsman - physically and mentally tough, a warrior through and through, utterly loyal to those he worked with and possessing a sense of humour that touched us all.

"Known throughout the Battalion as ‘Doctor S’ he was the most popular of individuals. His joking and light heartedness would lift the gloomiest of situations and have us all laughing."

Kingsman Matthew Bond, Foxhound operator of Corunna company said: "The whole time I knew David he was a bright, funny and a hardworking young man.

"He was well liked and respected by the whole company. David’s death was heartbreaking to hear about and my thoughts are with his friends and family."

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond added: "My thoughts are with his family, loved ones and those he served alongside in the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment."

Kingsman Shaw is the second British serviceman to be killed in Afghanistan this year and his death takes to 440 the number of UK service members who have lost their lives since operations began in October, 2001.

Sapper Richard Reginald Walker, 23, from 28 Engineer Regiment attached to 21 Engineer Regiment, was killed in a "green-on-blue" insider attack by a suspected member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on January 7.

Sapper Walker's body was repatriated to the UK today.

British Soldier Who Died From Wounds Named

A British soldier who died in hospital from wounds suffered in combat in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

The MoD said Kingsman David Robert Shaw, from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on January 16.

Kingsman Shaw sustained a gun shot wound when his checkpoint came under attack from insurgents in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province on January 14.

The 23-year-old soldier was from Barrow-in-Furness and joined the Army in February, 2008.

Kingsman Shaw was a qualified sharpshooter and an assault pioneer, and died on his second deployment to Afghanistan.

The family of Kingsman Shaw said: "David was a much-loved son and brother who was proud to have served his country in the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

"He loved his family and friends and would always make time for a hug for everybody. He enjoyed playing football, running and was an Arsenal fan.

"He also followed his local team, Barrow AFC. He has touched many lives. He will be missed and never forgotten."

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Wood, commanding officer of the battalion, added: "The death of Kingsman David Shaw is a devastating tragedy. The loss of our fallen comrade, who has fought so bravely and fiercely for three months, is deeply felt by all..."

"David was a true Cumbrian and Kingsman - physically and mentally tough, a warrior through and through, utterly loyal to those he worked with and possessing a sense of humour that touched us all.

"Known throughout the Battalion as ‘Doctor S’ he was the most popular of individuals. His joking and light heartedness would lift the gloomiest of situations and have us all laughing."

Kingsman Matthew Bond, Foxhound operator of Corunna company said: "The whole time I knew David he was a bright, funny and a hardworking young man.

"He was well liked and respected by the whole company. David’s death was heartbreaking to hear about and my thoughts are with his friends and family."

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond added: "My thoughts are with his family, loved ones and those he served alongside in the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment."

Kingsman Shaw is the second British serviceman to be killed in Afghanistan this year and his death takes to 440 the number of UK service members who have lost their lives since operations began in October, 2001.

Sapper Richard Reginald Walker, 23, from 28 Engineer Regiment attached to 21 Engineer Regiment, was killed in a "green-on-blue" insider attack by a suspected member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on January 7.

Sapper Walker's body was repatriated to the UK today.

Britain to test flight new combat drone

Britain is to test flight a remote controlled stealth combat aircraft build by British arms producer BAE Systems for the British military later this year.

The new robotic plane, Taranis, which has been designed to fly intercontinental missions to bomb targets, has no pilot and cannot be detected by radar.

The aircraft has cost £125 million to build and is to be flown for the first time in a series of tests in Australia in the spring.

Currently, British Ministry of Defence (MoD) and US military use unmanned drones such as Reaper to attack targets.

The Taranis, however, is expected to provide a prototype of a new kind of bomber that will replace piloted planes and the current drones.

This comes as the deployment of assassination drones by the US and its allies have led to killings of at least hundreds of innocent civilians, including many women and children, in the Middle East.

MOS/AMR/HE

Military to use Glock pistols after 40 years of Browning

LONDON (Reuters) - The military has changed its standard issue pistol to the Glock after using the Browning for more than 40 years, the Ministry of Defence said on Friday. It said it had awarded a 9 million pound contract to Austrian arms firm Glock f...

Ferry boy ‘jumped in for £100 bet’

Police searching for a missing boy last seen leaping from a ferry believe he may have jumped into the icy waters over a £100 bet.

Jordan Cobb, 16, was intending to take part in a New Year's Eve street party in Torpoint, Cornwall, after catching the ferry from Plymouth in Devon. But the alarm was raised shortly after 9pm when Jordan disappeared beneath the surface of the River Tamar, around 70 yards from the shore.

Police say they are still trying to track a handful of people who are believed to have been with Jordan in the moments leading up to his disappearance. They have been scanning social media and speaking to other witnesses, and say they believe the incident may be a "prank gone wrong".

Detective Inspector Nick West said: "We know that there was a discussion between the group about something - we're still waiting for some people to come forward and clarify what went on - but we understand that for some reason Jordan has given his bag to a friend, he's jumped up on to the front of the ferry and then jumped into the water.

"There is information in the public domain that suggests this is all a prank, that someone within Jordan's group has engaged with them in relation to a bet. We do understand that the figure of about £100 has been discussed, but that hasn't been confirmed. That's one line of inquiry that we're keeping an open mind on."

Specialist dive teams, the coastguard and the Ministry of Defence took advantage of low tides on Thursday to continue the search for the Stoke Damerel Community College student. Jordan's friends had previously scanned sections of the coastline from the shore in an attempt to find him, as well as bombarding social media sites with calls to keep up the search.

Devon and Cornwall Police said they maintain hope of finding the teenager alive, despite the hunt for him entering a 10th full day. Mr West added: "It is still a missing persons inquiry. Obviously, we will keep all hope that Jordan is out there alive and well.

"If this is a prank that's gone not wrong, he's jumped into the river and he's embarrassed to the fact he's caused all this commotion and all this activity, his friends' involvement and his family's distress - (if) he's just hiding low somewhere, then I would appeal for him to come forward.

"As time goes by, we have to be realistic. We will never forget that he is missing. If this is a tragic act that's gone wrong, then lessons need to be learned from it."

He said Jordan's parents and two brothers were trying to come to terms with the schoolboy's disappearance. "Jordan's family is obviously very distressed and distraught," said Mr West. Collectively the family are all staying together and trying to give themselves support internally."

MoD Overspends Equipment Budget By £6.5bn

The Ministry of Defence has overspent its equipment budget by £6.5bn and some of its major orders are likely to be delivered 39 years late.

The National Audit Office (NAO), in its latest report into the MoD's spending, has revealed that the 16 most costly projects, which originally totalled £56.5bn when they were approved and should have taken 159 years to deliver between them, now have a combined price tag of £61.1bn and will not be ready for a total of 195 years.

However, the good news is things are improving. This year’s overspend is "only" £468m and most of that is due to the rising cost of fuel, though the NAO report author Tim Banfield said the defence buyers could do better.

He said: "What we see is too much turbulence in the projects, there's too much change, so if you look at the 16 projects this year that we are covering, 14 of them have got some change in cost or timescales in the last year.

"If you are the MoD trying to budget well, getting that kind of uncertainty and movement makes it very difficult to plan in the long term."

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the huge "blackhole" is a legacy of the MoD ordering during the last Labour Government.

He described a "conspiracy of optimism" between the MoD and contractors in the past and is adamant the current plans are "fully funded".

Mr Hammond likens balancing the defence budget to "turning round a supertanker".

"These are huge projects often delivered over periods of five, 10 even 15 years, often they've got legacies of poor management and financial control and getting this straight is a big task, but it’s happening," he said.

The real big ticket items include £17bn for more Typhoon fighter jets, £12bn for transport aircraft, including refuelling tankers and £5.3bn for the two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

The NAO says that delivery delays in air refuelling aircraft means there is likely to be too few to go around in the next three years, though Mr Hammond said he is already taking steps to prolong the life of the current air tankers by another six months to plug the gap.

The NAO has acknowledged that the lead time for some of these projects is so great and the costs difficult to accurately assess, but nevertheless thinks the MoD could get better at it.

It cites one smaller project for a communications system designed for troops in Afghanistan, which costs £32m but not will be ready until all UK forces are back home.

Report unveils human cost of Afghan war

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released a log under the Freedom of Information Act, making clear the ongoing human cost of the conflict in Afghanistan.

According to the disclosed data, dozens of children were killed and many more were injured by the British troops in Afghanistan in 2012 in a lost war which serves no purpose other than to protect the reputations of the countries involved in the occupation.

In the information released to the daily The Guardian, the MoD said it paid out compensation to an Afghan man, whose family of six, including a mother and her child, was killed when a rocket overshot a target and hit the compound in which they were living.

The rocket incident, which wiped an entire family, was caused due to a “weapons malfunction”, according to the MoD.

This is just one among dozens of cases, in which, the British military had to pay compensation amounting to £510,728 in 2011. It paid a sum of £537,684 for compensating Afghans human and property loss in 2012, and £1.3m in 2010, the report said.

However, in a change of policy, the MoD has decided against giving details of how much was paid out for individual incidents, despite being criticized in the past for a lack of transparency in relation to the payments.

Sarah Holewinski, the executive director of the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (Civic), said that every line of the log "represents some type of loss".

"Sometimes it's 15 jerabs of corn, but often it's the death or serious injury of a loved one, the lists creating a numerical picture of human struggle in war," she said.

"Yet the scant details available and the lack of transparency of the UK amends programme only leads me to ask more questions, like how claims are handled, what losses are eligible, and how these amounts are arrived at. Understanding those basic guidelines is the only way we can begin to make sense of what these numbers mean", added the executive director of Civic.

Among the incidents from last year which were listed in the log were two in July involving Apache helicopter strikes. One on 23 July resulted in injury to five children. Another 20 days earlier resulted in the death of a boy, whose sister lost her foot below the knee.

MOL/SZH/HE

British soldier killed by ‘uniformed Afghan’

A British soldier has been shot dead by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

The soldier from 28 Engineer Regiment, attached to 21 Engineer Regiment, was killed in the southern Helmand province on Monday evening.

Isaf spokesman Major Martyn Crighton told Sky News: "A International Security Assistance Force Service member from the United Kingdom died yesterday when an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against both Afghan National Army soldiers and Isaf troops at Patrol Base Hazrat, which is in Nahr-e Saraj district.

"During the engagement the attacker was killed and there were some other folks who were wounded. They were subsequently taken to an Isaf medical facility to be treated."

The soldier's family have been informed of the death.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Major Laurence Roche, said: "This is an extremely sad day for the Corps of Royal Engineers and everyone serving with Task Force Helmand. Our thoughts are with the soldier's family and friends at this time."

More than 60 personnel with the Nato-led International Security Assistance Forces (Isaf) were killed in 47 attacks by members of the Afghan security forces last year, eroding trust between Afghan soldiers and their foreign counterparts.

All six fatalities suffered by the current British six-month tour in Afghanistan are believed to have been the result of insider attacks.

The Taliban often claims such attacks, but Isaf officials say most stem from personal grudges and cultural misunderstandings

The international force is currently planning to withdraw most of its troops  from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The patrol base where the latest attack happened was due to be handed over to Afghan control soon. Afghan forces already take the lead on security for 87% of the population ahead of the withdrawal.

The killing came as US President Barack Obama prepared to host his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on Friday to discuss long-term US military and civilian support for Afghanistan.

Insider attacks are likely to be high on the agenda, as is the issue of a continued US military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Reports citing the US Defence Department suggest between 3,000 and 9,000 troops could remain to focus on preventing al Qaeda from regaining a foothold.

Soldier shot dead in Afghanistan

A British soldier has been killed by a suspected member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said. The suspected ANA member used small arms fire first on his colleagues, before turning his weapon on the Internation...

UK should stop training Myanmar soldiers amid Rohingya Muslim ‘ethnic cleansing’ – activists

Britain must stop “legitimizing human rights abusers” and halt its training of Myanmar soldiers amid...

UK Navy tests air defense system against supersonic missiles

Published time: 5 Sep, 2017 00:30 The Royal Navy has carried out the first tests...

UK plans ‘significant uptick’ in Afghanistan special ops – reports

Published time: 27 Aug, 2017 14:27 Edited time: 27 Aug, 2017 14:28 Hard on the...

Trump calls on May to join Afghan troop surge… but what can cash-strapped Britain...

British troops could once again march into the ‘graveyard of empires’ as US President Donald...

Scotland ‘wholly unprepared’ for nuclear weapons accident on its roads – report

Nuclear warheads surrounded by explosives are regularly transported on British roads, yet authorities are “wholly...

Britain fights for right to field ‘killer robots’ in direct defiance of UN

The UK will oppose a preemptive ban on ‘killer robots’, despite widespread calls in the...

Britain splurges on warships, subs & drones… but may cut troops to plug £30bn...

The British military could see its troop numbers slashed again to fund spending on state-of-the-art...

Better-armored vehicles in Iraq could have saved lives, Fallon tells dead soldier’s mother

Published time: 18 Aug, 2017 11:38 Edited time: 18 Aug, 2017 12:21 Defense Secretary Michael...
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Video: Russian MoD releases footage of military op to retake al-Kadir

COURTESY: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE Russia's defense ministry released footage of the Syrian paratroopers' first ever operation in al-Kadir Saturday, located ... Via Youtube

Largest UK Navy carrier security under review after amateur lands drone on deck undetected

Security will be reviewed at the aircraft carrier ‘HMS Queen Elizabeth’ after a photo enthusiast...

Britain forced to rely on foreign allies to guard its borders

Insufficient investment and poor planning have rendered the UK more dependent on the US and...

Russia is no longer America's 'single' biggest threat – top US general

Published time: 23 Jul, 2017 05:47 The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff no...

UK’s soldiers and spies face penetrating review amid budget fears

Published time: 21 Jul, 2017 09:59 British military and intelligence agencies will be subjected to...

Special forces officers accused of war crimes against unarmed Afghan civilians

Britain’s Royal Military Police are investigating allegations that SAS soldiers executed unarmed Afghan civilians. ...

Troops Wrongly Prescribed Damaging Drugs Before Deployment due to Failures in IT System, Senior...

Troops preparing to deploy overseas are being wrongly prescribed damaging anti-malarial drugs due to failures in the Ministry of Defence’s medical IT...

British soldier dies after tank accident at army firing exercise

Published time: 15 Jun, 2017 11:23 A soldier has died following an accident reportedly involving...

Several injured following incident at Wales military base – MoD

Published time: 14 Jun, 2017 20:54 A number of people have been injured following a...

An Interesting View of Foreign Politics

Eric Zuesse For many years, I have been reading — but not yet citing as documentation for my own articles regarding U.S. international policies —...
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Video: Topping Up: ‘Russian Knights’ SU-30SM aerial refuel

Russian Ministry of Defense released video showing 'Russian Knights' SU-30SM performing aerial refuel COURTESY: Ministry of Defence of the Russian ... Via Youtube

Britain’s Trident nukes vulnerable to hack attack – report

Published time: 1 Jun, 2017 10:50 Britain’s Trident nukes could be rendered useless by hackers...

Programmer denied prize money from UK data challenge because of his Russian citizenship

A Russian programmer says, despite his success in a challenge held by the British military,...

Army ‘resisted’ plan to deploy troops on streets of Britain

Published time: 24 May, 2017 13:20 The British military reportedly initially opposed the idea of...

1,000 soldiers on streets as nervous Britain prepares for ‘imminent’ terror attack

Troops are being deployed to guard Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, and Parliament after Prime Minister...

Spies on both sides of Atlantic hunting for Manchester bomb culprits

Published time: 23 May, 2017 16:07 Intelligence agencies from the UK and US are looking...

Secret dossier on UFO sightings in Britain to be released after the election

Published time: 22 May, 2017 15:58 A dossier of secret government files believed to contain...

RAF drone strike that halted ISIS execution may have wounded 20 civilians – reports

Published time: 18 May, 2017 10:35 A Royal Air Force (RAF) drone strike, which the...

Ex-spy chief condemns Microsoft for leaving Windows XP users vulnerable to cyberattacks

A former UK spy chief has hit out at Microsoft for cutting support for its...

RAF drone strike in Syria saves 2 prisoners from public execution by ISIS

A Royal Air Force (RAF) drone strike prevented the public killing of two shackled prisoners by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria last...

Convoy of nuclear warhead carriers 'breaks down' on public highway

Published time: 16 May, 2017 16:22 Edited time: 16 May, 2017 16:29 A military convoy...

May pledges to boost military spending after defense chiefs say Britain can’t afford to...

Published time: 11 May, 2017 10:08 UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to increase...

Britain may not be able to fight a war because weapons are too expensive...

Published time: 26 Apr, 2017 11:22 Britain’s ability to wage war is being undermined because of...

British Army’s cold-weather training latest target of military cost-cutting

Published time: 12 Apr, 2017 10:07Edited time: 13 Apr, 2017 11:54 The British Army’s regular training...

X-rated photos of women taken in British military barracks shared online by soldiers

Published time: 5 Apr, 2017 12:43 Explicit images of women that appear to have been taken...

Mattis & Fallon say NATO members must raise their game, accuse Russia of 'interfering'

Other NATO countries must “raise their game” and pull their weight as the US-dominated military...

Sangin: Afghan district where over 100 British soldiers lost their lives retaken by Taliban

Published time: 23 Mar, 2017 14:17 The deadliest district of Helmand Province in terms of UK...

UK, Germany prepare to sign post-Brexit defense pact

Britain and Germany are preparing to sign a new defense agreement which would see UK helicopters based on German ships and training shared in...

Intercepting Russian planes in neutral skies main reason for RAF emergency sorties

Over half the time the Royal Air Force’s quick response planes are scrambled is to...

Apocalypse now? Ex-commando colonel claims moral collapse in killer marine’s unit

The former commander of Royal Marine Alexander Blackman, whose battlefield murder conviction was quashed Wednesday, has claimed the jailed soldier’s unit fell apart due...

800,000 songbirds illegally killed by poachers on Cyprus military base – RSPB

Published time: 16 Mar, 2017 16:13 Poachers have killed 800,000 songbirds on a UK military base...

Forgotten war? Veterans of Aden conflict fight for medals

Veterans of a forgotten colonial war in the Arabian Gulf are calling on the government to recognize their service with medals. The retired servicemen, who...

Drone Wars watchdog crowdfunds legal challenge to beat British military secrecy

Published time: 10 Mar, 2017 12:29 Drone Wars UK is crowdfunding a legal attempt to force...

Veterans & war widows are furious about British military’s Iraq-Afghan memorial

War veterans and widows have attacked the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) conduct over a new...

Government Report: Islamists Building ‘Parallel Society’ in Sweden Aided By PC Culture of Silence

Aided by a politically correct culture of “tolerance”, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is secretly building a “parallel” society in Sweden by infiltrating...

MoD leaves widows off guest list for unveiling of war memorial to their loved...

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) forgot to invite war widows to the unveiling of its new arms industry-funded war memorial to the Iraq and...

Iraq gets £10bn loan from Britain… but only to pay back UK firms

Britain and Iraq have negotiated a £10 billion (US$12.25 billion) loan for reconstructing and operating key utilities, but the cash can only be used...

Military psychologists delved into traumatized soldier’s childhood ‘to avoid payouts’

Published time: 1 Mar, 2017 12:03 Ministry of Defence (MoD) psychologists apparently grilled a soldier about...

‘Unmanned warfare is coming,’ says UK Defense Secretary

Published time: 28 Feb, 2017 10:54 Unmanned warfare across land, sea, and air will soon be...

Next-generation UK warships have missile launchers… but no missiles

Britain’s advanced £8 billion ($9.9 billion) Type 26 warships are equipped with missile launchers, but lack the missiles for them, it is claimed. With the...

Britain’s Royal Air Force trained Saudi Arabia how to use smart bombs

Britain trained Saudi Arabia’s air force how to carry out airstrikes with smart bombs despite allegations it is breaching international law in Yemen, official...

Salty sea dogs: Royal Navy resorting to sailors aged 55+ to fill recruitment gap

Britain’s military recruitment and retention crisis has forced the Royal Navy to look to older...

Britain’s entire fleet of attack subs ‘out of service’ – media

The Royal Navy’s entire fleet of attack submarines – seven nuclear-powered hunter-killers – is allegedly...

‘British troops may return to Afghanistan,’ admits Armed Forces minister

As Afghanistan slides deeper into chaos, Armed Forces Minister Mike Penning has said British troops...

'Failed' investigation into Iraq War abuse claims will close within months

UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has said the civilian-run investigation into allegations of abuse and...

Rock blocked: Gibraltar police car speeds onto runway to stop RAF plane from taking...

Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) used a car to block an RAF plane from leaving the runway in order to arrest a member of the...

Police raids seize 800 guns, assault rifles & Kalashnikov

British police seized more than 800 firearms, including assault rifles and a loaded Kalashnikov, during...

Military should investigate itself, Iraq abuse report will urge

A report into the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT), which investigates claims alleging that UK...

Billions in ‘illegal’ British arms sales to Saudi Arabia under threat in High Court

Britain’s multibillion-pound arms trade with Saudi Arabia is illegal and should be stopped immediately, the...

Trident whistleblower calls out MoD’s ‘lame attempt’ to excuse nuke malfunctions

Royal Navy whistleblower William McNeilly has returned fire after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) again tried to discredit him. He labeled it an attempt...

Failing ship engines & glitching drones: ‘Gaping holes’ in UK defense revealed in report

Ships so loud they can be heard 100 miles away, malfunctioning drones, and armored vehicles...

Top British general given £100k for home upkeep… while soldiers live in squalor

One of Britain’s top generals was given £100,000 ($125,000) just to cover “domestic assistance” at his plush London home last year, despite the daily...

MoD facing £6 billion cuts for 10-year equipment plan as auditors say affordability at...

The National Audit Office has warned that the Ministry of Defence has to find almost...

Russian ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ carrier gets familiar welcome on return journey through English Channel

Royal Air Force (RAF) jets and a Royal Navy warship have escorted the Russian aircraft...

Broke Royal Navy spent £1.4mn escorting Russian fleet through English Channel

A Royal Navy operation to monitor a Russian fleet of warships as it sailed through...

Russia could wipe out Britain on the battlefield ‘in an afternoon,’ says UK...

UK military capacity has been “hollowed out” to such an an extent, that it could...

Taliban bomb maker’s case against British military thrown out by Supreme Court

A Taliban bomb maker seeking to sue the British military over his detention in Afghanistan has had his case thrown out by the Supreme...

Britain admits selling 500 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, some used in Yemen

Britain exported 500 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia in the 1980s which may have been used in the current war against Houthi rebels in...

Royal Navy faces £500m budget black hole after buying ships it doesn’t need

The Royal Navy faces a £500 million ($616 million) shortfall in its annual budget after...

Prototype laser weapon developed with £30mn of army funding

Britain’s military has awarded a £30 million ($36.9 million) contract to a consortium of arms...

Queen almost shot by startled guardsman during 3am stroll

A startled guardsmen at Buckingham Palace reportedly almost shot the Queen after she went for...

UK govt docs: Thatcher cabinet told of approval to shoot nuclear-base intruders

Newly-released British state documents have revealed that soldiers were ordered to shoot suspected intruders at a naval base after activists managed to break into...

1,000 UK government laptops, flash drives reported missing since 2015

At least 1,000 laptops, computers and USB flash drives belonging to the British government have been reported lost or stolen since the general election...

Scottish activist planning to sue Trump golf course for ‘filming her urinating’

An Edinburgh court will decide on Thursday whether an environmental activist can sue Donald Trump’s...

‘All for one & one for all!’: Brawling Queen’s Guards sentenced

Three young guardsmen from one of the UK’s most exclusive army regiments have been sentenced...

British cluster bombs used in Saudi Arabia’s Yemen campaign

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has confirmed that British-made cluster bombs were used by Britain’s...

Soldier-turned-MP opposed to Iraq investigations got ‘critical’ late-night texts from MoD

A former army officer-turned-Tory MP says he was sent late night texts by Ministry of...

Britain continues to back Saudi bombing of Yemen, despite US stopping arms sale

The US will halt a planned arms sale to Saudi Arabia due to “strong concerns”...

Only Iraq abuse inquiry-linked conviction so far is its own investigator, records show

The only successful conviction in the Iraq Historical Abuses Team’s history is of one of...

Is Britain cooking the books over its shrinking military?

Top-heavy infantry battalions will be given a different role and an entire tank regiment will...

‘Army was boring’, says Britain’s new Armed Forces Minister

The army, in particular ceremonial duties, are boring and anyone who says they aren’t at...

UK’s £22mn payouts to Iraqis over military abuse now under scrutiny

Payouts over the abuse and detention of Iraqi nationals by the British military adding up to more than £22 million (US$27.5 million) are now...

Drones to be equipped with Britain’s much-vaunted, barely used, Brimstone missiles

UK drones are to be equipped with the much-vaunted Brimstone missiles which were used to justify involvement in Syria but then barely used, the...

Lawyer who pursued British troops over Iraq abuse claims now faces misconduct charges

Phil Shiner, former head of the now-collapsed law firm Public Interest Lawyers (PLI), may face...

British Army has just 5 Russian language speakers… despite Tory warnings of war

Despite frequent warnings by the government of an impending Russian threat, cuts to Britain’s defense budget have left its military with just five Russian...

Britain’s military drone fleet could almost double in price, US figures suggest

The cost of expanding Britain’s drone fleet could run as high as $1 billion, US...

Wounded soldiers’ payment scheme overhauled to spare MoD embarrassment in court

The British government is so determined to avoid the embarrassment of soldiers’ compensation cases that...

Royal Navy ships used ‘well beyond sell-by date,’ report warns

British naval ships are being kept in service “well beyond their sell-by date,” according to...

Press tags along for British military’s Mosul propaganda drive

British mainstream media have pounced on a Ministry of Defence (MoD) invitation to meet a misty-eyed sniper who yearns to take on jihadists from...

Royal Navy has ‘woefully low’ total of ships, MoD made ‘extraordinary mistakes’ – MPs

The Royal Navy has a “woefully low” number of ships available for overseas deployments, while cutting-edge vessels intended to replace the aging fleet are...

‘Walter Mittys’ wearing fake medals should be jailed – MPs

Military imposters – often known as Walter Mittys – should face criminal charges for wearing medals they have not earned, the Commons Defence Select...

Queen’s elite Guards regiments are badly short of soldiers – MoD figures

Manpower in some of Britain’s elite Guards regiments, which protect Buckingham Palace, has fallen so dramatically that only a few hundred junior infantrymen can...

Britannia rules the waves? Royal Navy ships may lose their main missiles

Britain’s Royal Navy ships may be left defenseless because no replacement has been made available for the current Harpoon anti-ship missile system. According to the...

Iraq wants devastating thermobaric weapons from UK to burn ISIS fighters in their Mosul...

The Iraqi military has asked the UK to provide thermobaric missiles, which make the air...

UK may have ‘fundamental divergence of outlook’ with Trump’s US – security expert

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election means the UK must seriously rethink its technological relationship with the world’s preeminent military power and...

Brothers in arms: British & French militaries to share missile technology

A new joint French and British missile development scheme will revolutionize the way the countries operate together, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said. Fallon made...

Iraq war crimes investigators sacked for falling asleep on job, impersonating police officer

A number of investigators working for the controversial Iraqi Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) have been...

Crumbling military infrastructure threatens UK national security – MPs

British military facilities and housing are in such a state of breakdown it could pose a risk to the country’s security, according to the...

Military-grade explosives found at Hull industrial site, man arrested

Police have arrested a man in Hull after prohibited military items were found at an...

British military given emergency £438m for wounded troops after printing ‘mistake’

A blunder at the Treasury has forced the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to ask for...

Oil wars? UK’s most advanced warship secretly deployed to Yemen coast

Britain’s most advanced warship has reportedly been quietly deployed to the coast of Yemen in what experts claim is a bid to protect the...

Govt thinks Christians are ‘bonkers’ like jihadists, says Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby, the Church of England’s most senior cleric, says the government has such a...

D-Day rehearsal site & other historic military bases to be sold, MoD confirms

Britain’s military is about to embark on a fire sale of one tenth of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) land assets in Britain including...

ISIS hunters: SAS to track & kill British citizens in Iraq

British citizens affiliated to jihadist groups in Iraq will be hunted down as part of a new kill or capture strategy, according to senior...

Sacked army whistleblower branded ‘security risk’ over David Kelly inquest campaign

A whistleblowing doctor sacked by the military was viewed as a security risk because of...

Foreign Office recalls files revealing ‘SAS role in the Sikh genocide’

The British Foreign Office has withdrawn secret files from the National Archives about the 1984...

‘Hounded’ soldiers launch legal challenge against UK military over Iraq abuse claims

War veterans who claim they have been hounded over allegations of abuse have launched their...

Military charity Help for Heroes paid off former staff to tune of £158,000

Top military charity Help for Heroes paid off former staff at a cost of £158,000 (US$195,000) according to a report by the Charity Commission. Under...

‘Death trap’: UK’s new £3.5bn tank can only beat ‘incompetent enemies’

Glitches with the Ajax’s advanced weaponry could leave the £3.5 billion (US$4.28 billion) project heavily delayed as questions are raised over the utility of...

Boost Britain’s NATO spending so US will ‘take us seriously,’ says peer

America will only treat Britain as a serious global player if the UK raises the share of its GDP contributed to NATO each year,...

Booty slap: Royal Marines court-martialed over spanking initiation

Four members of the elite Royal Marines – navy soldiers colloquially known as boot-necks or...

NATO, EU ships ‘mark’ Russian fleet as it passes through English Channel (VIDEO)

NATO and EU ships were put on full alert along the British coast as a...

Killer drones policy defended by British govt after human rights committee probe

Accusations of question-dodging from Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights have forced the government to...

British arms firm to crash drones into military planes… just to see what happens

UK arms firm QinetiQ has been contracted to crash civilian drones into things so that...

British UFO files returned to National Archives for extra censorship

Long-buried files about UFO activity in the UK have been sent back to the National...

MoD to buy £3bn armored vehicle fleet from Germany – report

The British Army is set to buy up to 800 infantry vehicles from Germany at...

Fresh inquest into death of Deepcut army recruit found with 5 bullet wounds to...

A new inquest into a second recruit death at the Deepcut army recruit base has...

Ex-general calls for British boots on ground in Syria

Troops on the ground in Syria are a strategic necessity and if the UK wants...

Are UK special forces preparing for chemical warfare ahead of assault on Mosul, Iraq?

Troops from the British infantry and SAS have been kitted out with chemical warfare equipment...

U.S. Ponders Whether to Go to War with Russia to Salvage Al Qaeda in...

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Sources that will be provided here, document the historical narrative now occurring toward all-out war between the U.S. and...

15yrs into Afghan War, psychologist warns ‘veterans must not become a business’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Mentally wounded military veterans must not come to be viewed as a business opportunity by...

BAE to begin work on UK’s multi-billion pound nuclear fleet

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has revealed details of a £1.3 billion deal with BAE systems...

Exposed: ‘Revolving door’ between British govt and arms dealers

Peace campaigners have exposed the cozy relationship between the British government and the nation’s arms...

Anti-war artwork condemned by the Sun and ex-military MPs was actually endorsed by veterans

Former British soldiers have responded fiercely to ex-military MPs who attacked their satirical anti-war art...

British air force admits involvement in airstrikes which hit Syrian govt troops

Britain’s military has admitted involvement in an airstrike in eastern Syria which reportedly killed over...

Elite’s assault on human rights would strip soldiers of ‘hard-won’ protections – lawyer

Amid allegations of abuse by British soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, a top...

Exposed: Over 100 potentially deadly nuclear convoy incidents on mainland UK since 2000

Military reports show a list of potentially explosive errors including brake failures, fuel leaks and...

UK commits troops to train Egyptian military in counter-terrorism tactics

British troops will continue to train the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF) to tackle terrorism and...

Not to be sniffed at: Queen’s Guards filmed ‘snorting powder’ off a sword in...

Military officials are investigating after mobile phone footage emerged allegedly showing two officers from the Queen’s elite personal guard snorting a powdery substance thought...

Pentagon now running UK military’s UFO-hunting unit – reports

American military intelligence is now running the UK’s axed UFO-hunting squad from a plush building...

The Great Game: Is Britain playing both sides in China-Vietnam standoff?

Just a day after the UK pledged to bolster its support for Vietnam, the British...

Britain & Vietnam cozy up on defense amid deepening South China Sea dispute

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Britain bankrolling Syrian opposition’s lobbying efforts in US – report

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Drone swarms for combat & surveillance ops top Britain’s military wishlist

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NSA leaks show US spooks use UK base to launch ‘kill-capture’ missions

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British military basically just handed ISIS a ‘target list’ of 20,000 soldiers’ names

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Royal Navy targets Libya gun runners & people smugglers

Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond set sail on Wednesday on a mission to tackle arms...

Final chemical weapon components removed from Libya by British & Danish navies – MoD

British sailors, alongside the Danish Navy, have helped to escort the last chemicals that could...

'Public are the enemy’ of British foreign policy – expert

UK foreign policy strategists consider the British public to be their enemy and, thus, bombard...

British military’s new £13mn Zephyr drone flies at 70,000ft for 45 days straight

Britain’s new £13 million Zephyr-S Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) can fly for 45 days at a height of 70,000ft, according to the Ministry of...

British military spends £91mn on ‘advice’ while service families live in squalor

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Was report on bad guy Russia’s military superiority deliberately leaked to score MoD funding?

A leaked report suggests British military leaders are deeply concerned about Russia’s military capabilities, but...

Trident nuke renewal plan blown out the water by govt’s own watchdog

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Bombs made in UK dropped on Yemeni civilians, human rights group claims

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UK military to free up £1bn for nuclear stealth submarines for Trident

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Send Royal Navy to guard Gibraltar during Brexit talks, says MoD adviser

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US test restrictions add to woes for UK’s new F-35 jets

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Russians are spying on Britain… with UK help

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Navy struggling to recruit submarine crews… because sailors can’t use Facebook underwater

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Lockdown: UK military in security panic after RAF base ‘abduction attempt’

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L-plates? Nuclear sub crash in Gibraltar may have had trainee behind the wheel

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Brexit could result in more animal testing, warn campaigners

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British soldier dies during training exercise on hottest day of year

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A Preview of The Coming War Between America and China

John Pilger John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, documentary filmmaker and author. He has twice won Britain’s highest award for journalism. His films have won...

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Military leaders gagged over Chilcot’s Iraq War condemnations

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Self-driving ‘drone’ trucks trialed by British army to supply frontlines

Unmanned military trucks will be trialed by the UK military as early as 2017 with...

Fire the Brimstone 2: UK buys £170mn version of barely used super-missile

Britain has bought the latest version of the Brimstone missile. Although once trumpeted as the...

Soldiers may quit military over ‘flea-infested, filthy’ housing – MPs

Military personnel may quit in droves because housing provided to their families under a privatized...

Chilcot: UK refusing to help clean up Iraq after raining down radioactive shells

Britain has no intention of cleaning up its deadly radioactive legacy in Iraq or even...

UK govt gambled with troops’ mental health over Iraq & Afghanistan – Chilcot

Multiple wars fought at the same time saw the British government risking troops’ mental health by ignoring their own guidelines on repeated, back-to-back deployments,...

Blair may face misconduct claim from families of soldiers killed in Iraq

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British military equipment ‘wholly inadequate’ in Iraq, says Chilcot

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Video: Combat cam: Iraqi aviation annihilates ISIS convoy of 700 vehicles fleeing Fallujah

Iraq's Ministry of Defence released footage on Wednesday which it said showed an airstrike on an Islamic State (IS) group convoy attempting to flee...

Mission creep? 250 more British troops sent into Iraq

Britain is ramping up its operations in Iraq by sending a further 250 troops to...

UK stealth jets must be repaired in US… despite being made by British arms...

Electronic systems in Britain’s multi-billion pound F-35 Lightning fighter jets will have to be sent to the US for repair despite being made by...

Iraqi’s case against MoD for alleged abuse by British troops could open floodgates

An Iraqi man who is suing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for alleged abuse and...

SAS, MI6 & 350 British paratroopers primed for Euro 2016 terror alert – reports

SAS soldiers are currently embedded alongside spies from MI6 in the Euro 2016 security apparatus,...

Britain’s denial over cluster bombs in Yemen 'wildly implausible' – Amnesty

Ministry of Defence (MoD) denials regarding banned, British-supplied cluster munitions found in Yemen are little...

MoD admits it’s worried about security at Trident nuclear weapons base

Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons program has suffered a skills shortage for the last 10 years,...

Scandal-ridden security giant G4S charged with guarding nation’s cash at Royal Mint

Britain’s Fort Knox will be guarded by the firm that mishandled security at the 2012...

Britain secretly upgrading its nukes without asking MPs – report

Britain is secretly upgrading its arsenal of Trident nuclear weapons and is developing an entirely new warhead, according to a report from the Nuclear...

UFOs or fighter jets? Londoners puzzled by mysterious house-shaking explosions (POLL)

London residents were mystified by three loud explosions that reportedly caused homes to shake on...

Dishonorable discharge: 10,000 British troops catch STDs since 2012, Army most afflicted

Almost 10,000 British military personnel have contracted a sexually transmitted disease (STD) since 2012 and...

UK arms dealers face jail over bribe to win £5mn bomb disposal deal

Two British arms dealers face jail over a £120,000 (US$175,000) bribe handed to a US...

Skynet: UK to upgrade war satellites to expand global drone kill operations

Britain’s military plans to replace its ageing Skynet war satellites to meet the bandwidth demands of its expanding Special Forces and drone operations. It is...

British Army training of Turkish & Saudi troops condemned by human rights groups

Britain’s habit of sending UK troops to train and mentor authoritarian regimes such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia are “deeply concerning” and need to...

Mission accomplished? UK troops return to Afghanistan to bolster crumbling regime

Less than three years after Prime Minister David Cameron announced ‘mission accomplished’ in Afghanistan, 100...

‘Zero chance of coup’: Military should be more involved in politics, says historian

Britain should drop the notion of an apolitical military and generals should be involved in...

Drones will render the oceans ‘transparent’ & Trident nuclear submarines useless – expert

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Libyans wounded while fighting ISIS may get British hospital treatment

Libyan militia fighters wounded while engaging Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in their country may be airlifted out for treatment in British hospitals, it...

MPs fail to ban Lariam ‘zombie drug’ linked to psychosis in soldiers

A defence committee report has fallen short of recommending a full ban on issuing the psychosis-linked, anti-malaria drug Lariam to British troops. The Ministry of...

MoD ‘urgently investigating’ claims Saudi Arabia is using UK-made cluster bombs in Yemen

Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is urgently investigating claims that banned UK-made cluster bombs have been used by Saudi Arabia in its war in...

Anti-malarial drug linked to psychosis among soldiers could finally be banned in UK military

An almost total ban on the anti-malaria drug Lariam may soon come into effect, amid fears that hundreds of UK soldiers could sue over...

Britain is training the armed forces of brutal regimes on its own human rights...

British soldiers are training troops for regimes on the UK’s own human rights watchlist, including...

Regime change? UK denies join-US plot to unseat South African President Jacob Zuma

Britain has denied it wants to overthrow South African President Jacob Zuma, following claims by...

Defective body armor may as well be ‘used as fire fuel,’ says British soldier

British soldiers are raising concerns about their new Israeli-made, Army-issue body armor – with one...

Still ruling the waves? UK’s biggest ever warship nears completion, amid claims it’s obsolete

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of two massive aircraft carriers, is approaching completion ahead of...

Military morale bombs under the Tories, according to MoD’s own survey

Less than half of UK military personnel are satisfied with service life, a Ministry of...

The Music of Hopelessness

Anohni’s “Hopelessness” tries a riskier approach to protest music: to make an unpleasant-sounding song on an unpleasant subject that practically dares people to listen...

Soldiers filmed drinking human waste & bare-knuckle boxing in ‘hazing ritual’

Several British soldiers are facing disciplinary action after a video emerged allegedly showing an abusive hazing ritual where troops bare-knuckle box and drink human...

UK military has no idea whether its £3bn spy plane was compromised by ‘double...

A US Navy commander, who worked with a top-secret spy plane being purchased by the UK, went on trial on Tuesday accused of espionage...

Arms dealer fears Brexit will hit business

A British military weapons and hardware dealer trading plane parts and troop carriers says his business would take a hit if the United Kingdom...

Trident nuclear weapons replacement to cost £205bn, campaigners warn

Replacing Britain’s aging Trident nuclear deterrent will likely cost £205 billion (US$296 billion), more than...

600 Iraqi civilian abuse claims against British soldiers rejected in court

Six hundred cases against UK troops involving allegations of abused and mistreated Iraqi civilians have...

Soldiers to sue British military over controversial Lariam malaria drug

British troops are preparing to sue the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the effects of...

Gay marriage to be allowed in British military chapels

Gay armed forces personnel will soon be allowed to wed in the chapels of military...

Is Britain buying ‘compromised’ spy-planes just to hit its NATO spending commitments?

Britain will go ahead with a £2 billion order of Poseidon spy planes to defend its nuclear submarine fleet, despite fears the technology on...

What steel crisis? 100 British ‘supertanks’ to be built with Swedish steel… in Spain

The first 100 next-generation Ajax battle tanks earmarked for use by the British Army will be built in Spain with Swedish steel – despite...

Afghan interpreters lose court appeal for UK assistance

Two Afghan interpreters who risked their lives working for British forces have lost their High...

UK-trained navy officer joins ISIS, experts fear shipping attacks

Kuwaiti-born Ali Alosaimi trained on a Merchant Navy course in the UK before allegedly fleeing...

Royal Navy fires warning shots at tiny Spanish ship ‘hassling’ 18,000-ton US nuclear sub

British sailors have fired warning shots at a Spanish Guardia Civil vessel which they claim...

Britain’s shadowy propaganda unit shaping Middle East wars

New documents reveal how a combined Foreign Office and military unit fights Islamic State (IS,...

Blood money: How Britain’s ex-diplomats are profiting from global conflict zones

Former UK diplomats are cashing in on their contacts and experience and advising despots, venture capitalists and Gulf regimes, according to a new investigation. Britain’s...

House of Sad? Ex-UK general says Gulf States feel ‘let down’ by UK

Britain’s theocratic Gulf allies feel “nervous” and “let down” by Western criticism, according to a former UK general now working as Middle East advisor...

Poland’s Patriot Act: PiS government proposes new anti-terrorism law

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Dorota Niemitz Seizing on the terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22,...

SAS, US troops reportedly team up against ISIS amid whispers of Mosul mass assault

US and UK special forces will team up to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)...

British military used ‘creative accounting’ to hit NATO spending targets

Some ‘creative accounting’ was employed by the British military in order for it to hit...

Gunboat diplomacy: UK is sending more soldiers to its embassies

Britain is militarizing embassies and pouring money into its Defence Attaché (DA) network, despite recent...

Has a double agent compromised £3bn UK spy plane before it even enters service?

Questions have been raised about the UK’s multi-billion P-8 Poseidon spy plane deal after a...

Secret NATO manual accidentally leaked to Scottish boat operators – report

A NATO manual marked “restricted” and full of codewords, ciphers, coordinates, and radio frequencies for...

UK not going to Libya … but has boatload of crack troops quietly floating...

UK officials deny troops will go to Libya, refusing to comment on current SAS operations....

UK Home Office thinks Saudi committing war crimes in Yemen, Foreign Office doesn’t!

Britain’s Home Office now believes Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen is breaching international human rights...

Lost in translation: British military down to just 15 Russian speakers

No wonder Anglo-Russian relations are dogged by a communication breakdown. Ministry of Defence (MoD) figures...

British Army’s ‘disappearing hitmen’ used legal loophole to fight in Yemen

By exploiting a legal loophole Britain dodged its human rights obligations and deployed secret soldiers...

‘Feminist zealots!’ Ex-colonel says British Army will pay ‘blood price’ for letting women fight

Letting women into combat roles is a “social engineering project” by “feminist zealots” who would...

Military wants ‘safe space away from public gaze’ to come up with policy, including...

Britain’s notoriously transparency-shy Defence Ministry says it wants to make major policy decisions without “public...

Drone chic? Think tank blasts trendy myth of killer robots’ precision

The myth of the effectiveness and flawless precision of drone technology in modern warfare that...

Military forced to reject claim Falklands left vulnerable to attack

British Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials have been forced to deny claims the Falkland Islands have been left vulnerable to attack because no British...

New British Empire? UK to re-establish military bases east of Suez

Flush military chiefs have been handed an £800-million budget boost as they consider new bases...

UK sends nuclear waste to US in exchange for cancer-fighting isotopes

Britain will ship huge amounts of enriched uranium to the US where it will be...

British Military wants robots to make life-or-death battlefield decisions

Identifying threats on the battlefield could soon be a decision made by artificially intelligent machines...

Scouting for business? British Royal Navy to head Gulf task force amid UK trade...

Britain will lead a joint maritime force in the Gulf from April alongside forces involved...

Nuclear hacks: Trident cyber-defenses to be revamped amid ISIS, rogue-state hacker threat

Cyber-defenses protecting Trident nuclear weapons are to be updated amid concerns military computers and networks may be vulnerable to North Korean and Islamic State...

Battle-scarred: 85% surge in military personnel phoning helpline

Desperate calls to a helpline used by serving and former military personnel have surged by...

Nowhere to hide: New MoD gravity scanner can see through walls

British military boffins have created a gravity scanner that may be able to see through...

Major US spy base targeting Europe & Africa to open on British soil –...

US intelligence services will reveal plans for a new £200-million center in Britain this week. The Pentagon says it will be the American headquarters...

Army recruits ‘forced to rape each other’ in hazing ritual

Two army recruits were allegedly forced to rape each other as part of an initiation...

Meals to die for? Soldiers share photos of mold & maggots in army issued...

British soldiers have taken to social media to share shocking photos of meals allegedly prepared...

Boris v Barack: London mayor accuses Obama of Brexit ‘hypocrisy’

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has called US President Barack Obama’s intervention in the EU...

Top British Army pilots quit over demands to return overpaid wages

As many as 15 experienced army helicopter pilots have quit following Ministry of Defence demands...

Peacefully protesting pensioner arrested outside NSA spy base

Police arrested a 74-year-old peace activist who refused to leave a protest site outside an...

‘SAS: Are you tough anymore?’ Special forces soldiers have gone ‘soft,’ historian claims

Today’s Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers may be more musclebound and better equipped than their...

British arms sales to Saudi Arabia face parliamentary scrutiny

(RT) - British arms sales to Saudi Arabia will face a parliamentary inquiry after concerns...

Genetic weapons, human swarms & angry youth pose future threats to British security –...

(RT) - Swarm attacks, angry global youth and genetic weapons are among the futuristic threats...

Mutiny in the ranks? British Army morale damaged by ‘unfair’ 1% pay rise

(RT) - Soldiers from every part of the British Army believe their recent one percent...

Women in combat: Dangerous experiment or gender equality in action?

(RT) - Even as the world marks International Women’s Day, the role of women in certain workplaces still remains a hot topic, nowhere more starkly...

10,000 wounds: Afghan war injuries hit 10K+ as UK veteran trauma remains rife

More than 10,000 physical wounds were sustained by British military personnel during the Afghan war, as psychological injury remains rife among UK veterans who...
video

Video: Russian combat drone footage: Military anti-tank multicopter in action

Russia's Ministry of Defence released footage Wednesday, of United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation's latest military drone, as the aerial bot went on show ... Via Youtube

Police guarding Trident nukes ‘overstretched,’ working ‘excessive overtime’

Military police guarding Britain’s nuclear weapons bases are so overstretched that officers are forced to work “excessive overtime” to maintain security, an official report...

US & Israeli arms companies bag £500m UK military contract

Israeli arms company Elbit Systems and US military contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) have won a £500-million contract to provide aircraft training for...

Saudi war crimes evidence could be fabricated by Houthis – UK minister

Evidence from a UN report that suggests the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen has targeted innocent civilians may have been falsified by Houthi rebels,...

Stop ‘damaging’ attacks on lawyers investigating soldiers’ abuse of Iraqis – human rights groups

Senior Tory attacks on lawyers investigating alleged abuses and murders committed by British troops during the Iraq War are “ill-judged and damaging,” say human...

UK military blasts own generals for Afghan ‘mess’

British generals were “arrogant, needy and slow” to act during the “messy” 10-year occupation of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan that cost hundreds of...

UK military experts allegedly aiding Saudi military campaign in Yemen

The UK stands accused of joining Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Six British experts are helping their Saudi colleagues target...

Iraq Atrocities: The UK’s “Independent” Inquiry

Nothing justifies killing of innocent people. – Tony Blair, CNN, January 15th, 2015 A little over three months short of the thirteenth anniversary of the invasion...

1,000 crack British troops deployed to Libyan oil fields to ‘halt the advance of...

British Special Forces have been deployed in Libya to wrest back control of more than a dozen oil fields seized by Islamic State (IS,...

UK veterans may be prosecuted over Iraq ‘war crimes’ as claims grow tenfold

Allegations of unlawful killings and torture committed by British troops in Iraq have multiplied tenfold over the past five years, with the head of...

‘Dig 200 graves’: UK troops return to Helmand as local police chief delivers grim...

Surrounded and low on ammunition, the police chief of the formerly British-occupied Afghan town of Sangin has told the governor of Helmand province to...

Britain commits more troops to Nigeria to combat Boko Haram

Britain will send more troops to its former colonial possession Nigeria in an effort to combat the threat of militant Islamist group Boko Haram,...

‘Thriving off conflict’: UK is world’s second largest arms seller

Britain continues to sell arms to countries that commit human rights abuses and is now ranked second in the world for weapons sales, a...

Military chiefs warned Cameron against using 70,000 ‘moderate’ rebels figure

Ministry of Defence (MoD) bosses warned Prime Minister David Cameron against claiming there are 70,000 moderate Syrian rebels ready to fight Islamic State (IS,...
video

Video: Aerial: Coalition airstrikes against ISIS hideouts and vehicles

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence released the footage of coalition fighter jets carrying out airstrikes against hideouts and vehicles of ISIS. The video showes...

UK nukes are ‘militarily irrational, not credible,’ says former nuclear commander

A former commander of British nuclear weapons has written an open letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in support of his anti-Trident stance, in...

Human Rights Act abolition would shield soldiers from abuse claims

Abolition of the Human Rights Act will grant military personnel greater protection from legal claims against them for violating human rights overseas, according to...

Airlines told to restart UK-bound flights from Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday

Britain’s Department of Transport (DoT) has told airlines to restart homebound flights from Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday, after Downing Street cancelled all planes leaving...

Exposed: British Soldiers Protect Afghanistan Opium Trade

Opium Harvesting, c.200 metres from Camp Bastion Airfield Perimeter Anthony C Heaford (RINF) - In this 7.5° view of Afghanistan, captured from an Airfield guard tower,...

Serving UK general threatens mutiny against a future Corbyn government

By Chris Marsden A senior serving British general has threatened “direct action” by the armed forces against a future Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government. Speaking to the Sunday...

UK to send warship to take part in second phase of EU naval operation

The UK government will send a Royal Navy frigate to take part in the second phase of an EU blockaded-style naval operation aimed at...

Anonymous general who predicts anti-Corbyn mutiny should be named by GCHQ — SAS veteran

A former SAS soldier has blasted the anonymous British Army general who predicted a military coup if Jeremy Corbyn is elected prime minister. He...
video

Video: Military concedes British sub, not Russian, damaged UK trawler in April

The UK Ministry of Defence admits that a submarine that damaged a British trawler in April this year was one of its own, not...

As UK Follows US Model of ‘Droning Its Own,’ Condemnations Follow

Legal experts and human rights advocates issue warnings after David Cameron admits extrajudicial assassination of British nationals in Syria by Jon Queally Human rights advocates and legal...

‘Oops, it was us’: MoD concedes British sub, not Russian, damaged UK trawler in...

The UK Ministry of Defence admits that a submarine that damaged a British trawler in April this year was one of its own, not...

Chilcot to apportion Iraq blame far beyond war criminal Tony Blair’s inner circle

Blame for the Iraq War will extend far beyond Tony Blair’s inner circle to include senior intelligence and defense officials and top ministers at...

British soldiers ‘get drunk, take drugs, start fights,’ claims council boss

So basically soldiers turn out to behave just like almost every other bloke on a night out. Just shocking. Truly shocking. But hey, let's just...

Hiroshima, Nagasaki 70th anniversary: Anti-Trident activists join global fast against nukes

Anti-nuclear activists will mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki next week by taking part in a four-day fast...

Scotland Yard police station converted into £10,000 per night luxury hote

London’s Scotland Yard police station, site of the original Jack the Ripper investigations, is to be converted into a £10,000 per night luxury hotel...

Thatcher made secrecy pact with Saudi king over ‘corrupt’ arms deal

Margaret Thatcher promised Saudi Arabia secrecy ahead of a £43 billion arms deal thought to have been blighted by corruption, newly-released documents reveal. The papers...
video

Video: ISIS combat cam: Iraqi jets bomb jihadists’ hideouts

Iraqi Ministry of Defence released on Monday a video showing Iraqi jet fighters allegedly heavily pounding IS militants' hideouts and vehicles in Salahuddin ... Via...

​Army Reserve recruiting targets ‘unachievable’ — watchdog

(RT) - Army reservist recruiting targets, which had been upped to account for cuts to the regular military, are ‘unachievable’ despite an expensive recruiting drive...

MoD confirms Britain is arming Saudi Arabia in Yemen conflict

(RT) - Britain’s Ministry of Defence has confirmed it is providing technical support and arming Saudi Arabia in its ongoing war against Yemen, RT has...

Quarter of UK army personnel want to quit

A recent Ministry of Defence survey has found that a quarter of those serving in the UK's armed forces want to quit. In 2011...

Finally revealed: UK drone strikes in Afghanistan by province

More than three years after first submitting a Freedom of Information request, the UK Ministry of Defence has finally told us in which Afghan...

Tories Plan To Destory Human Rights Laws

Soldiers will be safe from the “persistent human rights claims” that have dogged the British military for years because the Conservatives will “rip up”...

Six months of war in Iraq: Less ‘skin in the game’ mustn’t mean less...

This week marks six months since the parliamentary vote that committed Britain to a new war in Iraq. British and US air strikes continue to take place on a daily basis though now virtually unmentioned in parliament and the press.  In the past, national media poured... Read More ›

UK military experts warn of ‘weaponized Ebola’

British military experts fear terrorists could ‘weaponize’ Ebola, a heavily redacted Ministry of Defence (MoD) report has revealed. The report, released on Friday, identified a...

‘UK govt betrayed us,’ say Al-Sweady soldiers cleared of Iraqi murder, torture

British soldiers recently cleared of accusations including torture, murder and mutilation of Iraqi detainees say they were “betrayed” by the government for having to...

True number of UK troops damaged by war in Iraq and Afghanistan could be...

The total number of British men and women left wounded or sick after wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could be almost 75,000 — and...

Game of drones: UK govt faces legal threat to reveal drones usage

The UK government is facing a legal challenge over the deployment of its armed drones amid claims that its Afghanistan fleet could be moved...

UK PM lobbied to ramp up military spending amid deep public spending cuts

Prime Minister David Cameron should pledge to increase state spending on Britain’s armed forces for a full five years, according to a pressure group...

Government ‘Profiting From Slaughter’ By Selling Arms To Israel

CAMPAIGNERS accused the government yesterday of profiting from the latest slaughter in Gaza by selling British weapons to Israel in multimillion-pound arms deals. Flogging arms...

Iraq whitewash? Swathes of UK public inquiry findings suppressed

A lack of transparency concerning a UK public inquiry into the 2003 invasion of Iraq has bred heated criticism that its findings may vindicate...

German government demands departure of US spy chief

Peter Schwarz The exposure of a second US spy in Germany within five days has unleashed a major scandal. For a while, the topic even...

The lives of others: the hacking trial and the establishment’s corruption

The phone hacking trial reveals the normally hidden relationship between newspaper barons, journalists and the cops. Simon Basketter lifts the lid on the corruption...

Recent report confirms: US depleted uranium weapons targeted civilian areas in Iraq war

Barry Mason “Laid to Waste”, a report by the Dutch Catholic NGO Pax Christi International, confirms that US forces in Iraq used depleted uranium (DU)...

Phone hacking trial – Coulson’s conviction causes a crisis for David Cameron

Simon Basketter David Cameron and the Tories saw their cover-up of the hacking scandal come back to haunt them this week. Former Tory spin doctor and...

Most US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Attack Houses

Alice K Ross and Jack Serle Domestic buildings have been hit by drone strikes more than any other type of target in the CIA’s 10-year...

UK government to sell personal data

Mary Smith RINF Alternative News Last week’s announcement that Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is considering making taxpayers’ personal data commercially available to private companies has further...

MoD ‘Too Secretive’ On Murder Drones

The Ministry of Defence needs to be more open about its use of unmanned aerial drones, MPs said yesterday. But the Commons defence committee also...

Britain’s Flawed Nuclear Policy

At the biennial Global Nuclear Summit in The Hague this week ministers did not see their own policies as promoting nuclear proliferation. But proliferators they...

UK Drone Strike Activity Needs To Become Transparent

Alice K Ross The British government should be more transparent about intelligence-sharing that leads to covert drone strikes, say MPs in a report published today. The...

Leaked Docs Show Govt Deceit over US Drone Attacks

Alice K. Ross  RINF Alternative News The Bureau is now publishing a leaked official document that records details of over 300 drone strikes, including their locations...

Young working class soldiers most exposed to war trauma, UK report finds

Harvey Thompson  RINF Alternative News Towards the end of last year, ForcesWatch–whose official remit is to take issue with “unethical military recruitment”–published The Last Ambush? Aspects of...

Father fined £600 for taking his three children out of school to go on...

Tom Sullivanwakeupfromyourslumber.comJanuary 15, 2014 Stewart Sutherland and his wife Natasha both admitted three counts of failing...

Iraq: “Devastating” Dossier Alleging British War Crimes Lodged with the International Criminal Court.

A “devastating” two hundred and fifty page document: “The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008″,...

Basra: Profiting from their Destruction, the British are Back

“When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those...

Four US airmen dead in England crash

A US Air Force helicopter has been crashed during a low-level training mission off the coast of England, leaving four American airmen dead. The Pave...

Uranium: the Demon Metal That Threatens Us All

I am going to ramble about a bit here, but it's a bit of a rambling tale, which I hope will come together at...

Cancer, Nuclear Weapons and Dirty Tricks

The United Kingdom Veterans of the Atomic Atmospheric Testing in the Pacific and Australia have always maintained that they suffered harm, including cancer and...

Cancer, Nuclear Weapons and Dirty Tricks

The United Kingdom Veterans of the Atomic Atmospheric Testing in the Pacific and Australia have always maintained that they suffered harm, including cancer and...

Christian Democrats, Social Democrats form new German grand coalition goverment

By Peter Schwarz17 December 2013 A storm of jubilation broke out in the Social Democratic Party (SPD) on Saturday afternoon, as the result was...

Video: How to Check Which Government Agency is Spying on Your Smartphone

In our post-Snowden world, everyone almost accepts that some gov't agency or another will be scanning their phone calls and data transmissions. Most people...

How To See What Gov’t Agency Is Spying On You (Video)

By Susan DuclosWereAreChange is joined by Alex Heid of HackMiami.org and FederalJack.com, who is a security consultant, to inform everyone how to determine what government agency is spying on your cell phones' unique IP address.Amazingly, using hi...

Al Qaeda branch claims attack in Yemen

ReutersDecember 6, 2013 An al Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack on Yemen's defence ministry that killed at least 52 people, the country's...

The Establishment’s New Tactic: Gag All War Veterans

These are the men and women the establishment fear more than any other.  Military veterans who live to tell the other side of the war...

China scrambles fighter jets towards US and Japan aircraft in disputed air zone

theguardian.comNovember 29, 2013 China scrambled fighter jets to investigate US and Japanese aircraft flying through its new air defence zone over the East China Sea...

British Army’s secret ‘terror unit’ shot dead innocent civilians in Northern Ireland: claim

Adrian Rutherford Belfast Telegraph.co.uk November 21, 2013 A secret Army “terror” unit set up to target the IRA in the early 1970s was responsible for shootings in...

Commonwealth summit heightens Western pressure on Rajapakse government

By Deepal Jayasekera18 November 2013 The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Colombo from November 15 to 17, underscored the pressure being...

Unrestrained jingoism to characterise UK’s marking of World War I anniversary

By Julie Hyland18 November 2013 Who would believe that anyone, save a sociopath, would propose that the upcoming 100th anniversary of World War I...

‘Killer Robots’ could be outlawed

Harriet Alexander Telegraph.co.uk BAE Systems' Taranis, a semi-autonomous unmanned warplane, that will use stealth technology and can fly intercontinental missions and attack both aerial and ground...

Royal Marine convicted of Afghan murder

By Robert Stevens11 November 2013 Last week, a British Royal Marine was found guilty by a military court of murdering an injured Afghan prisoner....

Indo-Pakistani relations fraught after months of border skirmishes

By Deepal Jayasekera8 November 2013 The past three months have seen a surge in cross-border firing between Indian and Pakistani military forces along the...

Drone Warfare and International Law: Findings of U.N. Reports on Extrajudicial and Arbitrary Executions

Four important reports relating to the use of armed drones have been published over the past ten day. Two official reports by UN...

UN pushes hard for more transparency on drones

Four important reports relating to the use of armed drones have been published over the past ten day.  Two official reports by UN Special Rapporteurs examine the legal issues surrounding the use of armed drones.  These were closely followed by a... Read More ›

British military’s Afghan toll tops 445

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed the death of another trooper in Afghanistan, whose death takes the total number of British troops...

British soldier killed in S Afghanistan

At least one British soldier has been killed in a militant attack in the troubled southern Afghan province of Helmand, the Ministry of Defence...

Old Game, New Obsession, New Enemy… Now It’s China

Countries are “pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world,” wrote Lord Curzon,...

Old Game, New Obsession, New Enemy… Now It’s China

Countries are “pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world,” wrote Lord Curzon,...

UK’s MoD criticized over unspent funds

Britain's Ministry of Defence has been criticized over £2bn unspent funds.Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has faced criticisms from senior military figures following reports...

The China Fixation

Countries are “pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world,” wrote Lord Curzon,...

British cabinet reshuffle, a glance

Britain's coalition cabinet line-up changed.British Prime Minister David Cameron has reshuffled his team on top the ruling Conservative Party in a bid to change...

Brits Lose Control of Nuke Reactors: “Unbelievable… Seriousness of a Major Radioactive Release”

After the world witnessed a widespread radioactive disaster following the Tsunami that took down power systems at the Fukushima...

UK denies involvement in al-Shabab raid

Britain™s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has denied the involvement of British special forces in a strike on a coastal town in southern Somalia against...

Camp Bastion attack blamed on UK cuts

A new report has emerged showing that cuts to the British military™s budget and its failure to invest in security at its main base...

Major nuclear incident averted in UK

Britain's Royal Navy submarine fleet, Devonport dockyard in Plymouth.A new report says Britain™s Royal Navy submarine fleet has narrowly averted a major nuclear incident,...

British Army to sack 3,000 more troops

The British Army will be forced to declare another 3,ooo troopers as redundant in January amid the government™s failure to control the timing and...

UK detectives warn over police cuts

Detective officers in England and Wales warn over police budget cuts.The British government™s cuts to police budget are taking toll on detective officers in...

Week in Review: Anarchy in Libya and Israel’s Chemical Arsenal

New Millennium Resource Wars, Stephen Lendman, September 29, 2013 Worldwide Militarization and the Weapons Industry: America's Surveillance and Targeted Assassination Machine, William C. Lewis, September...

UK PM rejects Salmond live debate offer

British PM David Cameron (L) rejects Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister™s call for a live TV debate.British Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected...

UK Secretary of State for Justice Asked to Initiate Penal Sanctions Against Tony Blair...

The Rt.Hon., Chris Grayling, The Secretary of State for Justice Ministry of Justice 102 Petty France SW1H 9AJ 23.9.2013 Dear Sir, Re: Obligations of the UK High Contracting Party to...

Anti-malaria drug endangers UK troops

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD)™s refusal to ban a controversial anti-malarial drug is endangering thousands of UK troops because it has some killer...

UK: Want to Buy a War? The MoD Wants to Sell You One

The UK Ministry of Defence is worried; worried that the public have become ‘risk averse' to the point that we won't want to go...

UK’s MoD puts soldiers’ lives at risk

Britain™s Ministry of Defence (MoD) puts soldiers™ mental health at risk by prescribing mefloquine, which has been linked to string of suicides and murders...

Conversations on Palestine: The Role and Failure of Journalism

As part of an ongoing series of interviews for the radio show “Le Mur a Des Oreilles; conversations for Palestine“, Frank Barat talks to...

UK army seeking to stay in Afghanistan

British Royal Marine Commandos in the town of Barikju, Northern Helmand, Afghanistan.British army commanders are pushing plans to keep the country™s military presence in...

Revisiting “Red Lines.” Saving Syria from Chemical Weapons by “Punishing” With Chemical Weapons?

“Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became...

Harry’s most scandalous of UK royals

Every family might have a rebel child and for Britain™s royal family that rebel kid is the third-in-line to the throne, Prince Harry, who...

The Israel/Rwanda Pact

The holocaust and genocide industries will converge midway through the UN General Assembly's general debate, at Cooper Union in New York City, when Nobel...

UK, Saudi Arabia begin joint air drills

Britain and Saudi Arabia have started their joint air drills, dubbed Green Flag military exercises, at RAF Coningsby air base in England. IRIB quoted Al-Arabiya...

UK drone use triples in Afghanistan

The UK has tripled the use of drones for missions in Afghanistan between 2008 and 2012, new official figures shows. On Friday, Britainâ„¢s Ministry...

Who Really Crossed the Red Line?

The momentum for war seems to have slowed down as President Obama turns to Congress to get the go-ahead for military action against Syria....

SYRIA: NATO’s Next “Humanitarian” War?

Note to Readers:  Remember to bookmark this page for future reference. Please Forward the GR I-Book far and wide. Post it on Facebook. scroll down for I-BOOK Table...

Police nab 16 at UK anti-nuke demo

Police have arrested 16 people attending a demonstration at a nuclear weapons facility owned by UKâ„¢s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). The rally started on early...

Dangerous Crossroads. A War on Syria, Prelude to a World War III Scenario?

“In order to facilitate the action of liberative (sic) forces, …a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. … be accomplished...

Britain sends Typhoon jets to Cyprus

The MoD says Britain has deployed six Typhoon jets to Cyprus base near Syria.Britain has deployed six Typhoon jets to its Akrotiri airbase in...

How many ‘MIs’ did exist in the UK?

The UK spying agencies, the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) were founded in October 1909 as a single...

Western Warplanes Begin Arriving In Cyprus

Zero HedgeAugust 27, 2013 Remember what the 2012 leaked Stratfor memo said about the focal point of western...

“Spinning Justice”: The Likely Violation of Dr David Kelly’s Rights Under Article 2 of...

The tenth Anniversary of the death of Dr Kelly is inextricably linked with the UK government’s role in the invasion of Iraq in March...

Kagame’s Mass Atrocities in Rwanda and the Congo

by Christopher Black , Alex Mezyaev On 17th August 2012 counsel (1) for several Rwandan and Congolese (DRC) political and civil organizations, (2) delivered a...

Redundancies leave UK forces ‘detached’

Cuts leave UK forces Ëœcynical and detachedâ„¢, Britain's new defense chief warns.British governmentâ„¢s plans to cut military jobs and budgets have left some personnel...

Fake bomb detectors damage UK image

British lawmakers are demanding answers from three governmental bodies involved in promoting, supporting and financing fake bomb detectors sold by Gary Bolton, local media...

Two Births: A Gilded Arrival and a Poisoned Legacy

” … war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.” (Howard Zinn, 1922-2010.) On 22nd July two babies...

Britain sends warships to Gibraltar

Britain sends warships to Gibraltar as dispute with Spain continues.Britain is sending navy warships to Gibraltar amid growing tension between London and Madrid over...