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Showing posts from November 8, 2013

Saudi Nuclear Weapons 'On Order' From Pakistan- Fact Or Fiction?

By Mark Urban

November 07, 2013 -  Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight.

While the kingdom's quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran's atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic.

Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.

Last month Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a conference in Sweden that if Iran got the bomb, "the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring."

Since 2009, when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned visiting US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross that if I…

Bodies of Massacred Christians Found in Mass Grave in Syria

The bodies of 30 Christian civilians, including women and children, killed by Islamist militias, have been found in two separate mass graves, in the city of Sadad. The number of Christian civilians confirmed dead in this small town halfway between Homs and Damascus has reached 45. Many are injured and several are missing.

The city of Sadad, a Christian settlement, was invaded and occupied by Islamist militias on 21 October. It was recaptured in recent days by the Syrian regular army. When the representatives of the Patriarchate and families of the victims returned to their town they found to their horror two mass graves, where they found the bodies of their relatives and friends. In an atmosphere of grief, outrage and emotion, the funerals of the 30 Christians were celebrated by Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama. . According to eyewitnesses, many of the civilians were killed by militia gangs of 'Al- Nusra Front' and 'Daash…

Samsung Techwin stumps up more firepower for AAV7A1

South Korean prime Samsung Techwin has completed development and firing trials of a new generation remote weapon station (RWS) for the BAE Systems AAV7A1 (LVTP7A1) amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) used by the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (RoKMC).

The RWS was shown integrated onto an AAV7A1 at the Seoul Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX 2013) in late October. A Samsung Techwin official told IHS Jane's on 6 November that the system was not yet in service with the RoKMC and was unable to confirm when it may be fielded.

The AAV7A1 has been manufactured in South Korea since 1997 under a co-production contract signed by BAE Systems and Samsung Techwin. About 160 variants are believed to be in service with the RoKMC.
A BAE Systems/Samsung Techwin AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicle fitted with applique armour and showing a new Samsung Techwin RWS mounted in place of the standard manned turret. (IHS/James Hardy)



The standard AAV7A1 has a manned turret armed with a .50 calibre Daewoo Pr…

In China, the Challenge of Price Reforms

Summary


China's new administration will introduce its economic reform agenda at the Communist Party's Third Plenary Session on Nov. 9-12, with an emphasis on continuing to adapt market-oriented policies for the regime's political purposes. The government hopes to use some elements of capitalism to increase efficiency and forestall economic stagnation while retaining central control over political institutions and core industries in order to avoid liberalizing too rapidly and inducing a post-Soviet-style shock. Simultaneously, Chinese leaders are attempting to make a credible effort to convince a broad swath of the public that their concerns -- over livelihoods, pollution, health, education and official corruption, among other things -- are being addressed.

One particularly important element of reform is allowing prices on various goods and services to move with fewer restrictions. This could help curb excesses in resource-intensive heavy industry and encourage new growth in…

Mexico's Military Secures an Essential Port

Summary


The Mexican government is taking steps to limit the effect of instability on critical infrastructure that is vital to the functioning of the country's economy. On Nov. 3, the government sent the military to take over security at one of Mexico's most important ports, Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan state. In addition, due to complaints of collusion, the military disarmed the Lazaro Cardenas municipal police and submitted them and select customs officials to background checks and training.

The military's deployment is part of a larger trend unfolding over the past year in which the federal government is becoming increasingly concerned with instability in the western state of Michoacan. Insecurity has been a perennial issue in Michoacan, but intercartel violence and the emergence and proliferation of community vigilante groups have exacerbated existing problems.

Analysis


Security in Michoacan state has become more precarious in 2013. Organized crime-related violence and in…