It is not yet clear how they will link up with their Burmese, Lao and Thai counterparts, how far along the Mekong the patrols will go, or if officers from one country will be able to perform arrests in others' territorial waters.
Monday, 12 December 2011
Thursday, 8 December 2011
US troops are finally leaving Iraq, a country they invaded for the wrong reasons.
While most eyes turn to Afghanistan, we should not forget the errors committed, when the international community was misled into supporting the war.
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Active on the southern border with Thailand, this 'new' SSA became known as the Shan State Army - South (SSA-S) to distinguish it from the original SSA, which was still at peace with the government, and which became known as the Shan State Army - North (SSA-N).
The objective of the SSA-S is to establish an autonomous Shan State within a federated Union of Myanmar. It seeks to use force to coerce the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) - the military junta that rules Myanmar - into complying with this demand.
Sunday, 27 November 2011
The Uppsala Conflict Data Program website has updated it's map of the world's conflicts in 2010 (PDF).
The updated list for South-East Asia is below
- Gov. vs KNU
- Gov. vs DKBA S
- Gov. vs SSA-S
- Gov. vs CPP
- Gov. vs ASG
- Gov. vs Patani insurgents
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE (NATIONAL SECURITY COORDINATION SECRETARIAT)(Addendum to the President’s Address)The Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs (Mr Teo Chee Hean):Terrorism remains a persistent threat. Recent terror attacks in Indonesia, India and Norway are clear reminders that acts of terrorism are not exclusively associated with any one sector of the ideological spectrum. “Lone Wolf” terrorists, who act without formal links to an established terrorist organisation, aided by easily available tools and methods propagated by the internet, are much more difficult to prevent. Besides terrorism, the incidence of cyber attacks has escalated over the years and the consequences are becoming increasingly significant.
Monday, 7 November 2011
"It is precisely in uniform, and in order to be true to that uniform, that military personnel may have to disobey, question authority, choose not to bow to institutional pressures, if what they are being asked to do violates conscience. To be sure, cases of unwise orders present difficult tests for moral judgment, far harder than outright illegal or immoral orders."
Saturday, 5 November 2011
- the notion and typology of armed conflicts;
- the interplay between international humanitarian and human rights law;
- humanitarian access and assistance;
- IHL and multinational forces;
- new technologies of warfare;
- the use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas;
- the Arms Trade Treaty; and
- the conflation of IHL and the legal framework governing terrorism
- expert project on the law of occupation
- Montreux Document on private military and security companies
- The role of IHL in regulating hostilities, particularly issues related to targeting, status of individuals, and the question of the geography of armed conflict
- The current nature of detention operations in Afghanistan, and the legal framework(s) by which these operations are regulated
- The state of humanitarian operations, the role of humanitarian actors such as the ICRC, and the challenges of access to vulnerable populations
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Sunday, 30 October 2011
Nice gesture by SAF, to donate boats to help in flood relief efforts in Thailand. I know I often criticise the SAF, but this is one time where it needs to be complimented.
Friday, 28 October 2011
Am trying hard to justify how this video showed the "proper" way to conduct sniper operations. Some concerns below.
- was there positive identification of the target?
- how was a camera crew allowed to follow a sniper team, especially on an actual operation
- there did not seem to be proper employment of cover and concealment
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
The list of episodes for Season 1 can be found here.
Monday, 17 October 2011
Sunday, 9 October 2011
The Karen union is one of more than a dozen ethnic groups that for decades have sought greater autonomy from Myanmar's central government. Many other groups have signed formal cease-fires with the military leaders of the country since 1988, but the Karen never reached a formal agreement to lay down their arms.
The group once had a powerful guerrilla army in Myanmar's eastern border region, but Myanmar Army offensives, coupled with divisions within the organization, reduced the guerrilla group's military presence considerably over the past decade. Most of the group's senior leadership resides in Thailand, while its military bases are mostly located just across the border in Myanmar.
Sunday, 14 August 2011
The world's longest ongoing war - 101 East - Al Jazeera English
One of the lesser known low-intensity conflicts happening in South-East Asia, the long running civil war between the Myanmar junta and the Karen rebels have not received sufficient limelight, in terms of efforts to move towards peace, or the tracking of human rights abuses.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
"One of the main goals of the exercise is to reacquaint Marines with their basic mission as America’s expeditionary force in readiness. That means getting Marine units out of the barracks and into the field, where they live in tents and have to purify their own water, Davis noted."
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
"A Combat Tactical Challenge is a combat scenario where the reader is provided with a combat situation that requires them to utilise certain resources to achieve a tactical outcome. Not all considerations for the situation can be provided in this forum, so the reader is given scope to make assumptions when developing a solution."
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
"Desert Lions delivers a gritty, candid view of Canadian army mentors working to professionalize the Afghan National Army during the summer of 2010. The Desert Lions are a nine-man team deployed at Combat Outpost Lion in Nakhonay. Eight Canadians have been killed there in the past year. The heat is brutal, the living conditions are primitive and frustrations are numerous. Canadians and Afghans struggle to communicate with one another, but traces of humour abound. Tensions increase dramatically however following a deadly ambush on 22 August. The documentary depicts the immediate aftermath of this attack and its emotional aftershocks in the following weeks."
- army reservists fighting in theatre; a progressive idea, especially when the Captain in the unit is a policeman back in Canada; quite sure a policing mindset (as compared to a combat mindset) is useful for counter-insurgency
- the raw living conditions really highlight how a long war puts additional pressure on logistics; simple things like laundry and rubbish come into play
- language and culture are key; the Canadian Corporal that speaks Urdu and is of Pakistani-origin is able to communicate with the Afghan troops without the need for interpretors, which is extremely important, as you cannot be too reliant on the field translators to provide accurate and truthful translation
- the cultural differences, and how the 2 forces adapt, is a lesson on patience
- the female commander in Nakhonay, shows that gender equality is alive and kicking in Canada; kudos to them
- the push-pull negotiations at the shura is a fascinating look into the tools of the trade used by both sides at the negotiation table; e.g. changing the topic, talking on after the shura, etc
- the long discussion between Captain Reintjes and Master Warrant is yet another look into team dynamics, on how the 2 works things out
- the reaction to the IED attack was measured and decisive; i.e. change to ops setup (getting engineer assets), and changing the terrain (clearing the vegetation in front of the camp)
Monday, 18 July 2011
Thursday, 9 June 2011
"The recent operations come after a nearly year-long pause in American airstrikes, which were halted amid concerns that poor intelligence had led to bungled missions and civilian deaths that were undercutting the goals of the secret campaign.Officials in Washington said that the American and Saudi spy services had been receiving more information — from electronic eavesdropping and informants — about the possible locations of militants. But, they added, the outbreak of the wider conflict in Yemen created a new risk: that one faction might feed information to the Americans that could trigger air strikes against a rival group.A senior Pentagon official, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that using force against militants in Yemen was further complicated by the fact that Qaeda operatives have mingled with other rebels and antigovernment militants, making it harder for the United States to attack without the appearance of picking sides."
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Studies suggest that corruption in the arms trade contributes roughly 40 per cent to all corruption in global transactions. This corruption exacts a heavy toll on purchasing and selling countries, undermining democratic institutions of accountability and diverting valuable resources away from pressing social needs towards corrupt ends.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Yet another escalation of the war in Libya, some interesting developments besides the deployment of Apache helicopters from naval warships.
Gaddafi forces have shed their uniforms, are using civilian vehicles and hiding armour near civilian buildings, including hospitals and schools.
The French newspaper le Figaro said their helicopters would be assisted by target identification from French special forces who have been on the ground in Libya since the start of the allied operation there. The UK Ministry of Defence does not comment on special forces' operations.
The first international Stabilisation Response Team has arrived in Libya, the UK international development secretary Andrew Mitchell has confirmed . He said Britain would continue to provide humanitarian help and medical and emergency food supplies.Update (4th June 2011): Video of first Apache strike missions from HMS Ocean
Monday, 23 May 2011
This latest attack is a little puzzling at first glance. The Taliban does not gain militarily with the destruction of maritime patrol aircraft. The terror angle is also limited, as it was a specific targeted attack on a military facility and not a civilian target.
The only "victory" that I can think of for now is to show the incompetence of the Pakistan armed forces. They have done it before, with an earlier attack on an army base.
Monday, 25 April 2011
An RSIS commentary on why cutting the budget is a bad idea, and why National Service is still needed.
I must first say that I'm biased on both issues. I think the defence budget is not a sacred cow, and that we are better served by a regular force.
I do agree with the last point about engaging the public about defence matters, but that point was not fully developed. All too often, we are told that some defence issues are too sensitive or secret to be discussed in public.
It is too easy for defence planners to hide behind that "shield". One look at the open source material available on some developed countries will show that we are just giving excuses.
Back to the defence budget. Without number crunching, it is premature to dismiss arguments about budget cuts simply by citing that we live in a different neighbourhood.
As for National Service, it is precisely because of our unique features (small land mass, lack of strategic depth) that calls for a regular force. We may not want to admit it, but the majority of our standby Air Force and Navy assets are manned by regulars. Turning into a regular force will also mean turning professional.
Worth more discussion, this debate.
Thursday, 21 April 2011
A long article, but definitely worth reading. The number of prosecutions for war crimes are few and far between. Often brushed off with excuses like the "fog of war" or "self-defence", military tribunals are often reluctant to prosecute soldiers, let alone their commanders.
Postscript: a special edition of Military Review, mentioned in a comment to the blog post, focuses on ethics in combat.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
"Wohlgethan also complains about the lack of qualified training personnel and that driving instruction is given on Unimog trucks before drivers are deployed to Afghanistan, where they have to learn to drive Dingos in country."
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Quick post; have been following the 3 developments above, but not enough time to write a coherent analysis.
Hope to do so soon, but my initial thoughts below.
Libya - airpower has limits; we seem so forgetful
Cast Lead - Richard Goldstone's "retraction" has overshadowed the new report on that past conflict.
KSK - Going back to Guantanamo is a mistake. A terrorism case does not belong in a military tribunal.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Good to see the Marines being open to this discussion on gender equity. Actually, female soldiers around the world are already serving under "non-combat" vocations like signals, medics, intelligence, etc.
These vocations are already practically frontline deployments. Hope to see the day when they are allowed to serve in all vocations.
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
"Each day, each battle here, invites different versions of the truth.""This is a conflict where credible information is at a premium.""What we've observed...is a zeal...to shoot off assault rifles, anti-aircraft guns, even those SA-7 shoulder-to-air missiles. They do it out of paranoia, but mostly just for the cameras."
Of old wine, new bottles, eggs and omelets: Humanitarian Intervention Redux | Kings of War
A concise blog post that looks beyond what most mainstream media mistakenly call "enforcing a no fly zone"
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Operation Odyssey Dawn has begun quickly after UN approval of resolution 1973. A snippet of the text below.
“Protection of civilians
“4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;
“5. Recognizes the important role of the League of Arab States in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, requests the Member States of the League of Arab States to cooperate with other Member States in the implementation of paragraph 4;
Monday, 21 February 2011
Saturday, 19 February 2011
Great set of photos taken by a camera phone. Proof that sometimes the better camera may not be the right camera. But perhaps more importantly, the stark photos show the realities of fighting a war in Afghanistan.
Friday, 4 February 2011
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Fantastic idea. Instead of directly thinking about buying shiny new equipment, or planning a shift in doctrine, it would be great if the armed forces of the world are able to start from the basis of how much the change will enable "more peace" (bad English notwithstanding).
Really needs a paradigm shift (I hate to use this overused phrase), and apt since I'm currently in camp, undergoing reservist training...