19 Oct 2018

Drug trafficking at sea is devastating island states, ministers say

“Ministers from tiny island states including Palau, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati are calling for help over the ‘devastating’ impacts of criminal networks in the fishing industry. Fishermen, unable to work because stocks are so low, are being lured into gun-running and drug trafficking by international organised crime, the small

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17 Oct 2018

Iranian Drone Overflights of U.S. Warships in Persian Gulf Now Common

U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf now expect regular flyovers from Iranian drones, as well as Iranian monitoring from small watercraft. While ships are equipped with expensive high-tech equipment to provide early warning alerts, it can be difficult to find out whether or not an approaching drone is armed. Systems

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12 Oct 2018

In Pacific, US Army Shifts Training from Disaster Relief to War

“Not long ago, U.S. Army forces in the Pacific spent most of their training time preparing for humanitarian relief missions, evacuations from natural disasters, and efforts to build up allied security forces. Not anymore. Since President Donald Trump has come to office, the administration has issued a new National Security Strategy

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10 Oct 2018

EU harbors fears about China’s maritime Silk Roads

The EU is not a political entity known for reaching consensus with speed. Its fears over security-related foreign investments, specifically from China, however, have activated debates and movements towards stringent policies. “We are not naive free traders,” stated EU President Jean-Claude Juncker. “Europe must always defend its strategic interests. This

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08 Oct 2018

Antwerp’s war on drugs steps up a gear

“Criminal gangs are offering big money to dock workers, police and customs officers that are prepared to help them smuggle cocaine via Europe’s second biggest port. Speaking on Friday morning, the interior Minister Jan Jambon (Flemish nationalist) told journalists that ‘If the drugs cartels have been able to buy dock

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04 Oct 2018

U.S. Admiral Warns of Russian Submarines Challenging U.S. Defenses

“The head of naval forces in Europe warned that Russia is preparing an underwater battlespace in the Northern Atlantic and that U.S. naval presence is more important now than any time since the fall of the Soviet Union. Adm. James Foggo said in the second episode of his ‘On the

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28 Sep 2018

Iranian Oil Tankers Switch off GPS Trackers as Sanctions Approach

“Iran’s oil tankers are starting to disappear from global satellite tracking systems with just under six weeks to go until U.S. sanctions are due to hit the country’s exports, making it harder to keep track of the nation’s sales. No signals have been received by shore stations or satellites from

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26 Sep 2018

Arab Gulf states in the Horn of Africa: What role do they play?

The recent Ethiopia-Eritrea peace agreement was not signed in either country, but in Saudi Arabia. Although not included in the typical “Middle East and North Africa” (MENA) grouping, the horn of Africa is separated by the Arab Gulf only by the thin Red Sea, 220 miles across at its widest

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26 Sep 2018

US spends $81 billion a year to protect oil supplies, report estimates

According to a recent Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) report, the U.S. spends around $81 billion per year in protecting the movement of oil supplies around the world, which it calls a “very conservative” estimate that does not include the full cost of oil-related military operations. The estimate argues that

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25 Sep 2018

Pirates kidnap 12 crew members from Swiss vessel in Nigerian waters

“Pirates kidnapped 12 crew members from a Swiss merchant vessel on Saturday in Nigerian waters, the ship’s operator said in a statement,” highlighting the ongoing threat of piracy in the area. While piracy off of the horn of Africa has largely been eradicated through successful policing and responses, piracy and

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