World

June 21, 2012

News Briefs June 21, 2012

Admin discipline recommended in Quran burning

The Associated Press has learned that a U.S. military investigation is recommending that as many as seven U.S. troops face administrative punishments, but not criminal charges, in the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in Afghanistan in February.

U.S. military officials say the classified report and recommendations for disciplinary action against the service members involved were delivered to the Pentagon more than a week ago. No final decisions have been made.

Several Qurans were thrown into a garbage fire pit, setting off riots among Afghans.

U.S. officials say one Navy service member and as many as six Army soldiers face punishment that can range from a letter in their file to docking their pay.

U.S. military officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is under review. AP

 

New Zealand signs new defense agreement with U.S.

New Zealand and the United States have signed a new defense agreement, underscoring a new era of military cooperation.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and New Zealand Defense Minister Jonathan Coleman signed the “Washington Declaration” at the Pentagon June 20. The agreement focuses on building maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region, establishing regular policy dialogue, and working together to counter threats.

New Zealand’s military relationship with the U.S. soured 25 years ago when it banned nuclear warships from its shores.

Although the ban remains, the relationship has improved significantly since New Zealand first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2003 and particularly since the center-right National Party, which is seen as U.S.-friendly, came to power in 2008. AP




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Constitutional questions grow over Japan PM’s military plans

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan’s military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation’s pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing June 10, after three prominent constitution experts–including one chosen by Abe’s rul...
 
 

Japan, Philippines to talk about transfer of military goods

Japan and the Philippines agreed June 4 to start talks on transferring Japanese military hardware and technology to the Southeast Asian country trying to upgrade its defenses. Tokyo eased restrictions on exports of military equipment and technology last year as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role abroad. Under a...
 
 

U.S., India move forward on joint military research projects

After several years of bureaucratic delays, the U.S. and India are moving ahead with two joint research projects for the military that officials hope will set the stage for greater defense cooperation in the years ahead. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a defense agreement June 4, as part of...
 

 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 
 

Kremlin pursues military modernization despite economic woes

Hundreds of new Russian aircraft, tanks and missiles are rolling off assembly lines. Russian jets roar through European skies under NATO’s wary eye. Tens of thousands of troops take part in war games showing off the military’s readiness for all-out war. The muscle flexing suggests that Russia’s economic woes so far are having no impact...
 




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