Armed Forces – Austerlitz 2005 http://austerlitz2005.com/ Tue, 13 Jul 2021 03:39:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://austerlitz2005.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-150x150.png Armed Forces – Austerlitz 2005 http://austerlitz2005.com/ 32 32 10 Colombian “paramilitaries” killed in clashes: Maduro https://austerlitz2005.com/10-colombian-paramilitaries-killed-in-clashes-maduro/ https://austerlitz2005.com/10-colombian-paramilitaries-killed-in-clashes-maduro/#respond Tue, 13 Jul 2021 03:08:17 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/10-colombian-paramilitaries-killed-in-clashes-maduro/ Issued on: 07/13/2021 – 05:08Changed: 07/13/2021 – 05:06 Caracas (AFP) Ten Colombian “paramilitaries” died in violent clashes between armed groups and security forces that devastated Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday. Gun fights broke out for the first time on Wednesday evening, forcing people to flee their homes. The socialist leader said at […]]]>


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Caracas (AFP)

Ten Colombian “paramilitaries” died in violent clashes between armed groups and security forces that devastated Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday.

Gun fights broke out for the first time on Wednesday evening, forcing people to flee their homes.

The socialist leader said at least 20 “Colombian paramilitaries” helped train armed groups that kept firing and killing unknown numbers of civilians from “stray bullets”.

“At least 20 Colombian paramilitaries, we captured three with their weapons, it seems that others were killed who are being identified,” said Maduro in front of the Miraflores presidential palace.

“I don’t know if the number they gave me is accurate, 10 dead, and others flee and we’re looking for them.”

Venezuela’s armed forces have clashed with Colombian armed groups along the border since March 21, displacing thousands of civilians who had fled to Colombia.

Venezuela does not name the armed groups it blames for the unrest, other than being called “terrorists” or associated with drug trafficking or Colombian President Ivan Duque.

Security sources in Colombia say, however, that they are likely dissidents of the now-defunct rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Maduro said the paramilitaries had spent months training “criminals and terrorists”.

“They had trenches, they had a place called bunkers, they had paramilitary logistical preparation for a war in Caracas,” he said, adding that “between 200 and 300 criminals” were paid with drug money.

At least 26 people died on Saturday after nearly two days of clashes between Venezuelan security forces and gangs controlling poor areas of Caracas.

The number of victims is 22 suspected gang members and four dead police officers, said Interior Minister Carmen Melendez.

She said an unspecified number of non-combatants died and 28 people were injured, including 18 bystanders.

Up to 2,500 officers were deployed to conquer a barrio or slum called Cota 905. Authorities offered the gang boss who runs it a reward of $ 500,000.

Police confiscated 24,000 rounds of ammunition, three rocket launchers, five rifles, four submachine guns and several small arms.

There are enough “bullets for a year-long war,” said Maduro on Monday, without indicating whether the 10 paramilitaries were among the dead on Saturday.

He also said that part of the arms depot belonged to the Colombian National Police and the Colombian Army.

Maduro has linked the criminal gangs to an alleged plan by the Venezuelan opposition, supported by the United States and Colombia, to “destabilize” his government.

Bogota, meanwhile, has long accused Venezuela of shielding members of the FARC and the armed rebel group ELN on its territory – an accusation Maduro denies.

Some FARC militants who refused to join the peace process have continued their struggle while also mingling with and fighting drug traffickers in lawless areas of Colombia.

Venezuela and Colombia, which share a 2,200-kilometer border, severed diplomatic ties in January 2019 after Bogota recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s leader over Maduro following a controversial election.



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USA again warns China of attacks on Filipino troops https://austerlitz2005.com/usa-again-warns-china-of-attacks-on-filipino-troops/ https://austerlitz2005.com/usa-again-warns-china-of-attacks-on-filipino-troops/#respond Mon, 12 Jul 2021 02:04:00 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/usa-again-warns-china-of-attacks-on-filipino-troops/ US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a meeting with Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin at the State Department in Washington, USA, July 1, 2021. REUTERS / Ken Cedeno / Pool WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) – The United States repeatedly warned China on Sunday that an attack on Philippine forces in the South China […]]]>


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a meeting with Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin at the State Department in Washington, USA, July 1, 2021. REUTERS / Ken Cedeno / Pool

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) – The United States repeatedly warned China on Sunday that an attack on Philippine forces in the South China Sea would trigger a 1951 mutual defense treaty between the United States and the Philippines.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken made a written statement on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of an arbitration ruling rejecting China’s massive territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China – which claims most of the waters within a so-called nine dash line, which is also challenged by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam – reiterated on Friday that Beijing had not accepted the judgment. Continue reading

“The United States reaffirms its July 13, 2020 policy on maritime claims in the South China Sea,” Blinken said, referring to former President Donald’s government’s rejection of Chinese claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea Trump.

“We also affirm that an armed attack on Philippine forces, public ships or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke US mutual defense obligations under Article IV of the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951,” added Blinken.

This article of the treaty states in part that “Each party recognizes that an armed attack on either party in the Pacific would endanger its own peace and security and declares that it will comply with its constitutional procedures.”

Blinken has emphasized this earlier, including during a conversation with the Philippine Foreign Minister on April 8, in which the Foreign Ministry said it had confirmed “the applicability” of the treaty to the South China Sea.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Peter Cooney

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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Government proposes 15% special allowance for armed forces https://austerlitz2005.com/government-proposes-15-special-allowance-for-armed-forces/ https://austerlitz2005.com/government-proposes-15-special-allowance-for-armed-forces/#respond Sat, 10 Jul 2021 04:06:07 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/government-proposes-15-special-allowance-for-armed-forces/ ISLAMABAD: The government has proposed a further 15% wage increase for all ranks in the armed forces to offset minimal or no wage increases over the past two years and to end wage inequalities. The Ministry of Finance has postponed the executive summary for advice to the federal cabinet, which is based on the recommendation […]]]>


ISLAMABAD:

The government has proposed a further 15% wage increase for all ranks in the armed forces to offset minimal or no wage increases over the past two years and to end wage inequalities.

The Ministry of Finance has postponed the executive summary for advice to the federal cabinet, which is based on the recommendation of the Wages and Pension Commission, according to a senior official at the ministry.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered the executive summary to be placed at the next cabinet meeting, according to a executive summary that the federal cabinet will discuss on Tuesday. The Ministry of Finance has proposed “with effect from July 1, 2021, to grant all ranks in the armed forces a special 2021 allowance of 15% of the current basic salary”. “The total (financial) impact would be 38 billion rupees a year,” said the Treasury Department. The government has already budgeted the amount.

This will increase the total salaries of the armed forces to 25% after Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin included an ad hoc allowance of 10% for civilian and military workers in his budget speech. The Ministry of Finance has also separately reported 10% ad hoc allowance for civilian employees.

In addition to a 10% ad hoc allowance, the federal government has also granted civilian workers in the Pak Secretariat a 25% disparity reduction allowance, increasing their additional monetary benefits to a total of 35% in the new budget. The staff of the civil secretariat protested against differences in pay between different government agencies.

Now the salaries of the Bundeswehr are to be increased to 25%, subject to the approval of the Federal Cabinet.

Due to the delay in submitting the interim report on June 11, the Federal Cabinet decided on aid measures in which members of the armed forces and civilian employees would be granted ad hoc relief of 10% of their basic salary.

“The chairman of the Wage and Pension Commission has now submitted recommendations for the preliminary relief of the armed personnel until the recommendations are completed in order to keep the morale of the armed forces high,” said the Ministry of Finance.

The executive summary said the ministry had asked the prime minister for permission to raise the armed forces’ salaries by an additional 15%, who had instructed the matter to be brought before the federal cabinet.

The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Finance, Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, did not comment. A federal minister said the government would issue a statement after the cabinet meeting.

The federal government had not granted the armed forces or civilian workers any salary increases for the 2019-20 financial year. A year earlier, the 10-15% increase had only been given to class 19 workers, while the rest of the workers remained high and dry.

Sources said this had sparked resentment among the ranks and files, and civil and military workers were expected to receive at least a 20% pay increase in the budget speech. In its interim recommendation, the Wage and Pension Commission had also recommended an increase in civilian and army salaries by 15 to 20%.

The Treasury has announced the 10% increase in salaries in the form of ad hoc relief, which is subject to income tax, while the allowance is allowed during vacation. It also states that the ad hoc discharge will not be part of the base salary for reallocations and increases.

Public service reform has been part of the government’s agenda, but things are moving at a snail’s pace. The government hired an insurance brokerage firm in May of this year to review the pay structure, which will take at least six months to complete the deal. It is unlikely that the Commission will present its final report by December this year.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10ththe, 2021.

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Exemption of the Armed Forces from the FTI Act, Department of Military Affairs to the Government | Latest India News https://austerlitz2005.com/exemption-of-the-armed-forces-from-the-fti-act-department-of-military-affairs-to-the-government-latest-india-news/ https://austerlitz2005.com/exemption-of-the-armed-forces-from-the-fti-act-department-of-military-affairs-to-the-government-latest-india-news/#respond Fri, 09 Jul 2021 18:46:31 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/exemption-of-the-armed-forces-from-the-fti-act-department-of-military-affairs-to-the-government-latest-india-news/ NEW DELHI: The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has submitted a proposal to the government to exempt the armed forces from the 2005 Right to Information Act, citing national security implications, people familiar with the developments said on Friday. The DMA wants defense services to be added to the law’s second list, which includes intelligence […]]]>


NEW DELHI: The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has submitted a proposal to the government to exempt the armed forces from the 2005 Right to Information Act, citing national security implications, people familiar with the developments said on Friday.

The DMA wants defense services to be added to the law’s second list, which includes intelligence and security organizations exempt from most transparency obligations for public authorities under the law, one of the above officials said, asking not to to be called. He said the proposal sent last month was being considered by the Department of Human Resources and Training (DoPT).

RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak said the DMA proposal was “extremely worrying” and the DMA should have tried to “fight against” the RTI bill.

“If his proposal is accepted, it will be another major blow to the transparency regime established by the law,” he said.

DMA was founded in December 2019 and is one of the Defense Ministry’s five vertical divisions alongside the Defense, Arms Production, Defense Research and Development and Former Service departments. DMA is headed by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defense Staff, who oversees military theatrical operations.

“There have been cases in which the FTI law has been misused to obtain inside information at the behest of hostile elements. We are not allowed to provide the number of soldiers deployed in a sector in response to an RTI request. But then we get inquiries about ration quantities, fuel and vehicles. Answers to such questions can help these elements calculate backwards, ”he said.

An earlier attempt by the armed forces in 2006 to enter the exception category failed to materialize. The government responded that the armed forces are free to refuse requests for information that they believe would have security implications.

The second official quoted above said there was no reason to keep the Defense Forces out when even organizations like the Border Security Forces, Central Reserve Police Force and Central Industrial Security Force are exempted under Section 24 of the Act, which empowers the government to provide security and security Include intelligence organizations in the exception list.

A total of 26 organizations are excluded under Section 24. However, they must respond to RTI inquiries when information is requested on allegations of corruption and human rights violations.



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Court found 60% of the US Air Force responsible for the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas https://austerlitz2005.com/court-found-60-of-the-us-air-force-responsible-for-the-shooting-in-sutherland-springs-texas/ https://austerlitz2005.com/court-found-60-of-the-us-air-force-responsible-for-the-shooting-in-sutherland-springs-texas/#respond Wed, 07 Jul 2021 19:32:46 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/court-found-60-of-the-us-air-force-responsible-for-the-shooting-in-sutherland-springs-texas/ 26 people were killed in the 2017 mass shooting at First Baptist Church. 7 July 2021, 7:30 p.m. • Read 6 minutes Share on FacebookShare on TwitterSend this article via email A federal judge found the US Air Force 60% responsible for the mass shooting of a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November 2017. […]]]>


26 people were killed in the 2017 mass shooting at First Baptist Church.

A federal judge found the US Air Force 60% responsible for the mass shooting of a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November 2017.

Devin Kelley opened fire at First Baptist Church, 40 miles outside of San Antonio, during a Sunday service, killing 26 people, ages 5 to 72, making it the worst mass shooting of any place of worship ever.

In a civil lawsuit brought against the government by families and victims of the shooting, Judge Xavier Rodriguez ruled that the service should have alerted the police because Kelley was being investigated and tried before a court-martial for assaulting his then-wife and her stepson, according to the FBI that Kelley was court-martialed Couldn’t legally buy a gun through his warning system.

“The court concludes that the government has not exercised reasonable diligence in its obligation to report criminal records to the FBI. The government’s failure to exercise due diligence increased the risk of physical harm to the public, including plaintiff deaths and injuries to plaintiffs at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church on Nov. 5, 2017, “wrote Rodriguez.

The government argued that the Brady Act protects them from liability, which requires federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Air Force, to report disqualifying information “no less frequently than quarterly,” according to the file. “Disqualifying information includes” any record made by an individual that demonstrates that the individual falls into one of the categories of “those who are prohibited from buying firearms.”

During the investigation into the domestic violence allegations, Kelley threatened to “kill both (his wife) and Air Force security” if she reported the abuse to authorities, the court record said. In addition, his wife told investigators that Kelley threatened a mass shooting at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.

“My job is lucky. I would take a shotgun and blow everyone’s head off,” Kelley said at the time, according to court records.

When Air Force investigators investigated Kelley, they discovered a “long history of violence and abuse,” the court said.

Kelley was eventually sentenced to one year in prison on the domestic assault charges.

He later remarried and molested his second wife, according to the court record.

The judge concluded that the Air Force has not properly reported Kelley to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which arms dealers must use to conduct a background check.

“The trial conclusively determined that no other person – not even Kelley’s own parents or partners – knew, knew, or was able to commit as much about the violence Devin Kelley was about to commit as the United States. – Had the government done its job and properly reported Kelley’s information to the background check system – Kelley would most likely have been prevented from carrying out the shooting of the church. For these reasons, the government bears considerable responsibility for the plaintiffs’ damage.

Baptist Church’s first pastor Frank Pomeroy told ABC News chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas in 2019 that he was still injured from the shootings.

“The aftermath hurt almost as much as what Sagittarius did in our church,” said Pomeroy.

The judge gave the government 15 days to prepare a settlement plan.



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Honoring the Symbol of a Person’s Service »Albuquerque Journal https://austerlitz2005.com/honoring-the-symbol-of-a-persons-service-albuquerque-journal/ https://austerlitz2005.com/honoring-the-symbol-of-a-persons-service-albuquerque-journal/#respond Wed, 07 Jul 2021 04:05:00 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/honoring-the-symbol-of-a-persons-service-albuquerque-journal/ ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. ………. Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal She found the military uniform in the closet of a house that was being emptied for sale. Too much time has passed – she’s guessing maybe eight to ten years now – […]]]>


Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

She found the military uniform in the closet of a house that was being emptied for sale.

Too much time has passed – she’s guessing maybe eight to ten years now – that she can’t remember many details of how she became the guardian of the uniform, still in excellent condition, medals shiny, ribbons crisp as well the way she found it in that bedroom closet in a house somewhere outside Barcelona in the South Valley.

“These people had a flea market and I stopped by to look around,” said Debbie Garcia. “I made people the owners and they got rid of everything. They had apparently rented it out and the last people had been there for a while and then suddenly flew off. “

………………………………………….. ………….. …………..

There was a pile of things outside – furniture, clothes, a bed, a table, a few toys. Items from the house were also sold, including clothes that were still hanging in the closet.

The search continues for the owner of an Air Force tuxedo with medals, bars, and a bag full of ID found in a South Valley home about 10 years ago. (Courtesy Debbie Garcia)

Her eyes immediately shifted to the uniform, a blue Air Force tuxedo with epaulettes, a fruit salad of bars and medals, and the chevron with five striped sleeves that represented the rank of technical sergeant.

The uniform also had a name tag: Lawing.

It wasn’t the only item with that name. In one of the pockets Garcia found a wad of old ID cards for two men with the surname Lawing. One was Hugh L. Lawing, an elderly man who, if the given date of birth was calculated, would be 108 years old.

The other was James D. Lawing, whom she believed to be the owner of the jacket based on several U.S. Army IDs. They were old cards, the latest with an expiration date of December 17, 2006, that listed Lawing as TSGT / RET, a retired technical sergeant.

From the cards she could read a lifelong service, the photos on the ID cards showed the aging of a young man over the course of his military career. Lawing had also been linked to Boeing, TRW and GenCorp Aerojet, according to IDs.

He had a Florida gun license that expired in 1984 and a Missouri driver’s license that expired in 2005.

According to the given date of birth, he would now be 74 years old.

Garcia spent years trying to find Lawing to give him back his jacket. She wondered how it had ended up in that closet in that South Valley house. She wondered how Lawing got to Albuquerque. None of the IDs indicated a local connection.

“So I thought maybe Kirtland Air Force Base,” she said. “But when I called, they said they didn’t have any records and couldn’t help me. They told me to just throw it away. “

But she couldn’t.

“My father and brother were both in the army and I know what those medals would mean to them,” she said. “If you serve your country, it matters. You don’t just throw all that away. “

So she kept looking. But she admits that she doesn’t know much about how to search for a person, how to navigate the internet. So she asked me to help.

“If he’s no longer alive, his children or relatives may want that back,” she said.

In doing research, I learned that Hugh Lawing was a well-known photographer in Batavia, New York. He married Laura May Wilkie in 1937 and the two eventually settled in St. Louis.

James was her son. He was 16 years old when his mother died of complications from diabetes.

Hugh spent his final days in an assisted living home in a suburb of St. Louis, St. Charles, Missouri. He died in 2006 at the age of 93.

Information on James Lawing was more difficult to come by. Apart from the IDs and badges in the Air Force jacket pocket, there was hardly a trace of paper on it.

But I think I found him while he was living in a high-rise building on Florida’s east coast. I spoke to the front desk staff at the apartment complex who confirmed that he lived there. She said she would send him a message for me. I also left him several messages, but apparently his cell phone is turned off. Emails were returned as undeliverable. Since I haven’t spoken to him yet, I’m keeping his current whereabouts vague so that my dear detectives among you don’t have to try to track him down unless you know him personally.

Someday – hopefully soon – we’ll reveal the secret of how the Air Force jacket and all the IDs were hung in a closet in South Valley. One day Garcia will have the chance to return the jacket to its rightful owner if he wants it.

But what I found is a woman who went to so much trouble to honor a military man for so long. She felt it was her duty to look after a stranger’s belongings. She felt it was right to honor the symbol of his service rather than simply throwing it away.

No matter who he is or what we learn about him and the jacket, Garcia is the real find here.

UpFront is a news and opinion column on the front page. You can reach Joline at 730-2793, jkrueger@abqjournal.com, Facebook or @jolinegkg on Twitter.



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The death toll in a military plane crash in the Philippines rises to 50 https://austerlitz2005.com/the-death-toll-in-a-military-plane-crash-in-the-philippines-rises-to-50/ https://austerlitz2005.com/the-death-toll-in-a-military-plane-crash-in-the-philippines-rises-to-50/#respond Mon, 05 Jul 2021 07:24:11 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/the-death-toll-in-a-military-plane-crash-in-the-philippines-rises-to-50/ Issued on: May 7th, 2021 – 9:24 amChanged: May 7th, 2021 – 9:22 am Patikul (Philippines) (AFP) Filipino security forces searched Monday between coconut trees on a remote South Island for the flight data boxes of a plane that crashed in one of the country’s worst military air disasters, killing 50 people. The C-130 Hercules […]]]>


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Patikul (Philippines) (AFP)

Filipino security forces searched Monday between coconut trees on a remote South Island for the flight data boxes of a plane that crashed in one of the country’s worst military air disasters, killing 50 people.

The C-130 Hercules transport aircraft was carrying 96 people, most of them recent army graduates, when it shot over the runway on Sunday while attempting to land on Jolo Island in Sulu province – a haven for Islamist militants.

The plane skid in a village and went up in flames, killing 50 people, including 47 military personnel and three civilians, said military spokesman Major General Edgard Arevalo.

Another 53 were injured, most of them soldiers. It was not clear whether the pilots were among the survivors.

“This is one of the worst tragic incidents that has occurred in our armed forces,” said Arevalo.

The three civilians killed were not on the flight and worked in a stone quarry, village chief Tanda Hailid told AFP.

Photos of the scene released by the military’s rescue unit showed the damaged tail and smoking wreckage scattered in a coconut grove.

“We have people on site to ensure the integrity of the evidence we are going to recover, especially the flight recorder,” Arevalo said.

# foto1

“In addition to eyewitness reports, we are also looking for recordings, radio conversations between the pilot and the control tower.”

Arevalo said the military had secured the crash site and would ensure militants on the island do not disrupt searches.

Dental records were used to identify the charred remains of the victims.

Most of the passengers recently completed basic military training and were sent to the troubled island as part of a counterinsurgency in the Muslim-majority region.

The military has a strong presence in the southern Philippines, where militant groups, including the Abu Sayyaf kidnapping group, operate.

– ‘Bad Crash’ –

C-130s have been the workhorses of air forces around the world for decades, used to transport troops, supplies, and vehicles.

The used Hercules that crashed on Sunday was acquired from the US and shipped to the Philippines earlier this year.

# foto2

It was one of four in the country’s fleet. Two are being repaired while the third is on the ground after the crash.

“They are all experienced and experienced pilots, so we cannot immediately say how that … (happened) happened,” said Arevalo.

“Even if these (military assets) are not brand new … they are airworthy.”

“This is the worst Philippine military plane crash, with 50 deaths to date, compared to the 40 deaths in a PAF C-47 crash in 1971,” Jose Antonio Custodio, a military historian and analyst, told AFP.

# foto3

It was the latest in a series of recent military aircraft accidents in the Philippines.

Last month, a Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a night training flight, killing all six on board. The accident resulted in the priming of the entire Black Hawk fleet in the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said Monday the incidents would “stimulate further modernization” of the armed forces.

“The whole country is in mourning,” he said.



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Russia rejects UN allegations against its trainers in the Central African Republic https://austerlitz2005.com/russia-rejects-un-allegations-against-its-trainers-in-the-central-african-republic/ https://austerlitz2005.com/russia-rejects-un-allegations-against-its-trainers-in-the-central-african-republic/#respond Sat, 03 Jul 2021 10:40:34 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/russia-rejects-un-allegations-against-its-trainers-in-the-central-african-republic/ MOSCOW (AP) – The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday decidedly denied claims by UN experts that Russian military instructors were involved in the killing of civilians and looting in the Central African Republic. In a written response to the AP’s request, the ministry rejected the allegations as unfounded, arguing that they were aimed at “discrediting […]]]>


MOSCOW (AP) – The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday decidedly denied claims by UN experts that Russian military instructors were involved in the killing of civilians and looting in the Central African Republic.

In a written response to the AP’s request, the ministry rejected the allegations as unfounded, arguing that they were aimed at “discrediting Russian efforts to stabilize the situation in the Central African Republic and restore peace”.

A panel of UN experts overseeing sanctions against the conflict-ridden African nation said in a 40-page report received Monday by The Associated Press that it had testimony from large numbers of local officials, the military and the internal Government and community security forces have gathered sources in several locations across the country. They pointed to “excessive use of force, indiscriminate killings, occupation of schools and large-scale looting” by Russian military instructors.

The panel said many of the officials and other sources reported that Russian instructors “often led rather than followed” as the Central African Republic forces counter-offensive against rebels linked to former President Francois Bozize in various cities and villages advanced. Bozize tried to prevent elections in December and then tried to take power from President Faustin Archange Touadera.

When asked about the report earlier this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov categorically rejected the allegations as “another lie”.

“Russian military advisors could not attend and did not take part in any murders or looting,” Peskov said on a conference call with reporters.

In its written comment to the AP on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated that the Russian military instructors were in the country at the request of the country’s legitimate government and in accordance with UN rules.

It added that the role of the instructors is to train the Armed Forces of the Central African Republic and “to provide advisory and humanitarian assistance” to the country’s security forces. Your mission helped the Central African Republic Army defeat the militants, reduce the Central African Republic’s military losses and “take more effective measures to protect the civilian population”.

The ministry noted that “the legitimate CAR authorities would hardly have insisted on the continued presence of Russian specialists if the allegations about the ‘abuses’ of the instructors had real reasons and local residents had protested actively”.

The mineral-rich Central African Republic has faced deadly interfaith and intercommunal fighting since 2013. A peace agreement was signed between the government and 14 rebel groups in February 2019, but the violence attributed to Bozize and his allies threatens to nullify the agreement.

Hostilities erupted after the Constitutional Court rejected Bozize’s candidacy for president in December and have continued since Touadera won a second term later that month with 53% of the vote.

Last week the US, UK and France accused Russian personnel in the Central African Republic of ill-treatment against civilians and obstruction of the UN peacekeeping – allegations Russia angrily denied.

The Western powers have linked Russian staff to the infamous Wagner Group, a private security company allegedly affiliated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a US businessman charged with meddling in the 2016 presidential election and whose company is reportedly in lucrative mining contracts DARE.

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A thought-provoking reflection on how AI will transform conflict https://austerlitz2005.com/a-thought-provoking-reflection-on-how-ai-will-transform-conflict/ https://austerlitz2005.com/a-thought-provoking-reflection-on-how-ai-will-transform-conflict/#respond Fri, 02 Jul 2021 01:15:29 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/a-thought-provoking-reflection-on-how-ai-will-transform-conflict/ July 3, 2021 I, Warbot. By Kenneth Payne. Oxford University Press; 336 pages; $ 29.95. Hurst; £ 20 THE US The expert group on Libya rarely makes the headlines. But his farewell report in March caused a sensation. It found that in a battle for Tripoli last year, the Libyan government “hunted down the enemy […]]]>


I, Warbot. By Kenneth Payne. Oxford University Press; 336 pages; $ 29.95. Hurst; £ 20

THE US The expert group on Libya rarely makes the headlines. But his farewell report in March caused a sensation. It found that in a battle for Tripoli last year, the Libyan government “hunted down the enemy and fought them remotely with drones” – and not just with any drones. The Kargu-2 was programmed to attack “without requiring a data link between the operator and the ammunition”. The implication was that it could choose its own goals.

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Was this a real autonomous weapon or just a clever missile? In June, the Turkish manufacturer insisted that, contrary to its own marketing, the drone initially needed a human to push the button. This type of technology is at the heart of Kenneth Payne’s “I, Warbot,” a thought-provoking reflection on how artificial intelligence (AI) will change the conflict.

In a way, the story is known. It includes the tangled stories of computers and warfare; the recent development of new, powerful forms of AI modeled on the neurons of the brain rather than the logic of the mind; and the resulting opportunities for weapons to see their surroundings – and strike with superhuman speed and precision. King’s College London graduate Mr. Payne is particularly optimistic about the potential of swarms, a “menagerie of specialty robots” that can focus on attack and melt away just as quickly.

“The tactical implications are profound,” he predicts. The offensive will dominate. Defenders will have to rely on deception, which creates clouds of deception targets, rather than defenses such as armor and fortifications. Martial virtues such as courage and leadership will give way to technical competence. The division of the armed forces into services optimized for land, air, and sea may seem increasingly strange in a world of machines to span.

Above all, “I, Warbot” is a reminder that war is about more than tactics. It’s about choosing the battles, combining them into a successful campaign, and combining military victories with political goals – in short, war is about strategy. And Soldateska and strategy are fundamentally different. Computer programs can defeat human pilots in simulated aerial combat. But could they devise the bold, swift, and visionary attacks that enabled Napoleon Bonaparte to take down one European army after another?

In games that combine skill, chance and psychology, algorithms can certainly outsmart opponents. In 2017, Libratus, a computer program, defeated four poker stars. AI can also be innovative: in 2016, AlphaGo, another program, beat up a world champion of Go, an ancient Chinese board game, with moves that stunned viewers.

But, argues Mr. Payne, this is a simulacrum of genius, not the real thing. These gizmos show “exploratory creativity” – essentially a brute force calculation of probabilities. This is fundamentally different from “transformational creativity”, which involves the ability to look at a problem in a completely new way and requires playfulness, imagination and a sense of purpose. All of this can depend on emotions and thus on non-computer parts of human biology. “AI is a statistical processor par excellence ”; but essentially it remains “a wonderfully refined abacus”.

As a seasoned soldier, the warbot can thus be a limited general. The problem is that the line between tactics and strategy can become blurred. Decisions on the battlefield can have geopolitical implications. Consider the case of the B-59, a Soviet submarine that was shot at by American depth charges during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The exhausted captain ordered the use of a nuclear torpedo. Aware of the commitment, Vasily Arkhipov, the deputy, refused to approve the launch.

Would a computer have done that? “A warbot is likely to be more accurate, proportionate, and discriminatory,” says Payne. The risk is that “a machine will not be deterred by the sobering fear that something will get out of hand”.

This article appeared in the Books & Art section of the print edition under the heading “Computer says go”



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Cirencester Polo Club hosts special Armed Forces Day event https://austerlitz2005.com/cirencester-polo-club-hosts-special-armed-forces-day-event/ https://austerlitz2005.com/cirencester-polo-club-hosts-special-armed-forces-day-event/#respond Wed, 30 Jun 2021 11:02:44 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/cirencester-polo-club-hosts-special-armed-forces-day-event/ The CIRENCESTER Park Polo Club hosted a polo match between the British Forces and Cirencester to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday. Lady She, host on local Corinium Radio, organized a group of old military re-actors and veterans to attend the day, and she herself came as Clemmie Churchill, Winston’s wife. Stewart Linford appeared as […]]]>


The CIRENCESTER Park Polo Club hosted a polo match between the British Forces and Cirencester to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

Lady She, host on local Corinium Radio, organized a group of old military re-actors and veterans to attend the day, and she herself came as Clemmie Churchill, Winston’s wife.

Stewart Linford appeared as Winston Churchill and together Lady She and Stewart presented the prizes and the Malta Cup to Cirencester, the winning team.

Also on that day, a new book entitled “Attagirls” was published, which continued the military theme, written by the author and film producer Paul Olavesen-Stabb.

The book will also be made into a feature film and is based on the true story of Molly Rose, a brave aviator who flew for the Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II and distributed Spitfires and Hurricanes.

The game was played at noon at the historic club, the UK’s oldest polo club, ahead of the Warwickshire Cup Final, one of the UK’s most prestigious polo tournaments.

This year’s guest of honor was Minnie Churchill, Winston Churchill’s granddaughter in law, who presented her trophy to the winning team.

Winston Churchill himself played polo in Cirencester and was an avid horse rider.

The Cirencester Park Polo Club welcomes all visitors to enjoy polo and the clubhouse bar and restaurant. It is open to both members and non-members, with polo being played almost every day of the week.

It’s a great day out for the family and it’s in the heart of Cirencester Park.

Photos by Ian Lloyd Graham.



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