What If the Iraq War Had Never Happened and America’s Military Stayed Home?

Key point: Hindsight is 20/20, but Washington should have known that the invasion was a mistake. The conflict would (and still does) claim many lives. Every player of the popular video game Civilization knows to hit the save button before engaging in the risky, stupid invasion of foreign country. In the case of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, it became apparent after the first few months that the war was not working out as its framers had envisioned.  The failure to find weapons of mass destruction was only the icing,…

MH370 ‘almost certainly murder-suicide’, says former Aussie PM

Former Austalian prime minister Tony Abbott has revealed the “highest levels” of the Malaysian government believed from “very early on” that the MH370 tragedy was a murder-suicide plot. Speaking in a new documentary set to air in Australia this week, the former leader, who was PM when the plane disappeared over the South China Sea in 2014, said it was made “crystal clear” to him within a week that the aircraft was almost certainly deliberately downed by the pilot, news.com.au reports. “My understanding – my very clear understanding – from the very…

Australia’s hidden money problem | The Saturday Paper

Australian tax authorities are not doing enough to counter money laundering and international tax avoidance, according to the 2020 Financial Secrecy Index. The Cayman Islands topped the Tax Justice Network’s index, with Australia ranked at 48th position, earning criticism for still “considering” a register of people behind secret shell companies floated in the wake of the 2017 Panama Papers revelations.  The Tax Justice Network said Australia “undoubtedly hosts significant quantities of illicit funds outside the country” and called for anti-money laundering provisions to be introduced to cover real estate agents,…

Fifty-one Countries Preparing Voluntary National Reviews for 2020 HLPF | News | SDG Knowledge Hub

Benin has joined the list of countries that will report on SDG implementation at the national level during the July 2020 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). In addition, 50 other countries are preparing their voluntary national reviews (VNRs). In September 2019 the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) informed governments that a high number of countries had expressed interested in presenting at the 2020 HLPF. She said the ECOSOC Bureau had decided to give priority to first- and second-time presenters, and countries that…

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Feb. 18, 2020

USNI News Graphic These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Feb. 18, 2020, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Total U.S. Navy Battle Force: Ships Underway Deployed Ships Underway Non-deployed Ships Underway Total Ships Underway 52 32 84 Ships Deployed by Fleet Fleet Forces 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total…

DVIDS – News – Conference on Naval War in Vietnam Includes American, Vietnamese Perspectives

The U.S. Naval War College gathered military scholars and historians from the American and Vietnamese perspectives for a Feb. 6-7 conference examining the role of naval power in the Vietnam conflict. The conference looked at the Vietnam War as an example of a “limited war” in the shadow of the Cold War – a topic of renewed interest in today’s climate of escalating great-power competition. “During times of peace, that’s when we have the space to reflect and solidify the wartime lessons,” said Rear Adm. Shoshana S. Chatfield, Naval…

NATO prepares for new threats

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the conference NATO Engages: Innovating the Alliance. Image: NATO Sign-up to the Army Technology newsletter New technologies News New products Essential guides “Today we face new challenges, and in keeping with our best traditions we must continue to adapt,” UK defence secretary Ben Wallace warned the crowd gathered for NATO Engages in London in December. “Traditional warfare has changed,” he continued. “The threats are no longer only conventional. No longer only overt. Our adversaries are striking from the shadows. They are pursuing new tactics…

South China Sea: Japan risks furious Chinese backlash as fishing row erupts | World | News

Officials said they were transferring the 741-ton ship Hakurei Maru to Indonesia as well as providing a £15.3 million funding to boost the impoverished country’s coast guard’s feet of vessels to help it thwart illegal fishing expeditions in its territorial waters in the South China Sea. The 27-year-old Hakurei Maru is 206.5ft long and has berths for 29 people. Kazuhiko Shimizu, economic counselor at the Japanese Embassy in Indonesia, said the measures were being taken to promote its “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy”. He said: “Recently, Indonesia has suffered some…

Germany-Singapore Defense Relations in the Spotlight With Munich Security Conference Ministerial Meeting – The Diplomat

Asia Defense | Security | Southeast Asia A recent engagement highlighted the ongoing collaboration between the two sides in the security realm. Advertisement Last week, the defense ministers of Germany and Singapore met for a set of scheduled consultations between them. The interaction put the spotlight on the development of the growing defense ties between the two countries amid wider global and regional developments. As I have observed previously in these pages, while Singapore-Germany defense ties are not new – with aspects including visits, exchanges, dialogues, technological collaboration, and exercises – both sides have…

Tony Abbott: ‘MH370 was almost certainly mass murder suicide by the pilot’

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has revealed the “highest levels” of the Malaysian Government believed those on board MH370 were killed by a suicidal pilot. “My understanding, my very clear understanding, from the very top levels of the Malaysian Government is that from very, very early on here they thought it was a murder suicide by the pilot,” Mr Abbott told Sky News. “Let me reiterate – I want to be absolutely crystal clear – it was understood at the highest levels that this was almost certainly murder suicide by…