February 6, 2019

News Briefs – February 6, 2019

Pentagon sending another 3,750 troops to Southwest border

The Pentagon says it will send 3,750 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to put up another 150 miles of concertina wire and provide other support for Customs and Border Protection.
The additions announced Feb. 3 will bring the total number of active-duty troops on the border to 4,350.
The announcement is in line with what Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan had said on Jan. 29 when he provided estimates for the next phase of a military mission that critics have derided as a political ploy by the White House.
Shanahan said several thousand more troops would be sent mainly to install additional wire barriers and provide a large new system of mobile surveillance and monitoring of the border area. The Feb. 3 announcement said the mobile surveillance mission would last through Sept. 30. AP

Report suggests Germany may miss defense spending target

Germany’s tightening public finances are raising questions over whether the country will miss its military spending target at a time when the U.S. is increasing pressure on its European allies to increase defense budgets.
The dpa news agency reported Feb. 5 that a Finance Ministry document circulated to other ministries for discussion suggests defense spending won’t increase sufficiently to meet targets amid a projected budget shortfall of 24.7 billion euros ($28.3 billion) through 2023.
The Finance Ministry wouldn’t comment, saying only the numbers won’t be finalized until the end of March.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on a Latvia trip that Germany would still meet its goal to increase military spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025, already less than the 2 percent NATO members agreed in 2014. AP

Airbus in discussions with Emirates over superjumbo’s future

Airbus SE has confirmed it is in discussions with Emirates Airline over the contract of the troubled A380 superjumbo jet.
In a statement Jan. 31, the French-based European plane manufacturer said in was in talks over the future contract but did not provide any information on the nature of the discussions.
If Emirates, the only stable client left for the A380, drops its existing contract for the plane, Airbus could cease production of the iconic superjumbo altogether.
Last year, Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, said it struck a deal with Airbus to buy 20 of the double-decker jets, with the option to buy 16 more, in a deal worth $16 billion. AP

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