Af/Pak & Other News (1/2/2012)

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dump...@hotmail.com

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Jan 2, 2012, 9:31:29 PM1/2/12
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Al-Qaida, Taliban commanders seek Pakistani militants’ help to fight
US forces in Afghanistan:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/al-qaida-taliban-commanders-ask-pakistani-militants-to-help-fight-us-forces-in-afghanistan/2012/01/02/gIQAxyg0VP_story.html



NATO supplies pile up at Pakistan port:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jaT3PdMXRzdSYJI0rB33wpQsi89Q?docId=CNG.082aae70ad0095620c3cb026d05f6bd2.821



NATO reports 'incredible' Afghan drugs seizures:

http://news.yahoo.com/nato-reports-incredible-afghan-drugs-seizures-134845600.html;_ylt=AoX11N6ufkmbWzGCqCq2l4YBxg8F;_ylu=X3oDMTQzbGVrZjgwBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBXb3JsZFNGIEFzaWFTU0YEcGtnAzliYzc1NjExLWVhNTEtMzY2ZC04NjIyLTIyOGZiYjcwNGRiMQRwb3MDMTkEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDYjgzODI0MzAtMzU0OC0xMWUxLWJiY2QtOTA0Nzc5Yjg2MmQ3;_ylg=X3oDMTF1N2kwZmpmBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZHxhc2lhBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3



Iranian border guards still in Pakistani custody:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Iranian-border-guards-still-in-Pakistani-custody/articleshow/11339592.cms



India Builds Them Big:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htarm/articles/20120102.aspx



More MiG-31s to be modified to BM-model:

http://alert5.com/2012/01/03/more-mig-31s-to-be-modified-to-bm-model/



Syria killings continue despite military retreat, Arab observers say:

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/02/9892680-syria-killings-continue-despite-military-retreat-arab-observers-say



Observers In Syria Concerned By Sniper Fire:

http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16139588



International Mercenaries Back In Favor:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/articles/20120102.aspx



Tunisia considering handing over ex-Libya premier:

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2012/01/02/tunisia_considering_handing_over_ex_libya_premier/



Iran tests missile that could hit US bases, Israel:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45845572/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/#.TwJVpvIoLTo



BAE Sells 3 Offshore Patrol Vessels to Brazilian Navy:

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=8723875&c=AME&s=SEA



Academy eyes cadets’ design for new UAV:

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2012/01/MONDAYairforce_cadet_uav_010212w/



Cost overruns of USS Gerald R. Ford could top $1.1 billion:

http://alert5.com/2012/01/03/cost-overruns-of-uss-gerald-r-ford-could-top-1-1-billion/



The Keyhole Capers:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htspace/articles/20120102.aspx




Raytheon’s Lot-12 AIM-9X Missile Orders:

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Raytheons-Lot-12-AIM-9X-Missile-Orders-07252/



Twitterfight! Group Threatens Lawsuit Over Terror Tweets:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/twitterfight-group-threatens-lawsuit-over-terror-tweets/



La N.

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Jan 2, 2012, 10:50:35 PM1/2/12
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<dump...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:892ff876-5606-484a...@v14g2000yqh.googlegroups.com...
> International Mercenaries Back In Favor:

>http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/articles/20120102.aspx

Interesting.



International Mercenaries Back In Favor
January 2, 2012: Noting that Britain was downsizing its armed forces, and
cutting loose a lot of experienced personnel, the Australian Navy has sent
recruiting officers to Britain to see if there would be interest among some
of these former (or soon-to-be former) British sailors in joining the
Australian Navy. The navy is particularly interested in obtaining personnel
with technical skills. Years of low unemployment in Australia (partly
because China is buying so many raw materials) has caused a shortage of
engineering and technical specialists in the navy. The mining companies have
been luring away a lot of technical personnel with higher pay and better
working conditions. As a result, for example, the navy only has crews for
three of its six submarines.
For over two years now the navy has been recruiting foreigners who possess
needed technical skills. Australia is a nation of immigrants and the
admirals point out that recruiting a foreigner is cheaper than training an
Australian to do these tasks. But sending recruiters to foreign countries is
a new angle. Australia has also been offering navy jobs to sailors from
Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. All four foreign nations share a
common language and, in general, culture with Australia. Moreover, sailors
from these foreign nations have gone through similar security vetting. The
recruiting offers are being sweetened with quick granting of Australian
citizenship after less than a year of service.

Australia is not the only nation currently seeking foreigners for its
military. Russia, for example, has a fundamental problem with few Russian
men willing to join, even at good pay rates. Efforts to recruit women and
foreigners have not made up for this. The Russian military has an image
problem that just won't go away. This resulted in the period of service for
conscripts being lowered to one year (from two) in 2008. That was partly to
placate the growing number of parents who were encouraging, and assisting,
their kids in avoiding military service.

Nevertheless, Russia is making it easier for foreigners to join. Recruits
still must be able to speak Russian, have no criminal record, and meet
physical and educational standards but other than that, anyone is welcome to
sign up for five years as a contract (non-conscript) soldier. This didn't
bring in a lot of new people but every little bit helps. The navy and air
force are particularly short of technically qualified personnel and don't
care if the new guys speak with an accent. Currently, only a few hundred
foreigners are serving, most from countries that used to be part of the
Soviet Union. But there are also a few from Germany and Israel (where a lot
of Russians had immigrated to in the past 30 years).

The U.S. military currently has about 50,000 non-citizens in service (out of
some 2.2 million active duty and reserve troops). The navy, not the army,
has the largest number (nearly half). That's something of a navy tradition,
as hiring foreigners to serve on U.S. warships is a custom that goes back
over a century. Currently, the proportion of foreigners (about two percent)
in the U.S. military is historically low. It's been much higher in the past,
often reaching 25 percent or more. This caused alarm, then as now, but there
were never a lot of problems with uncertain loyalties.

In the last decade, some senior American officers suggested recruiting more
foreigners. Not just non-citizens with green cards but foreigners who are
not residents of the United States. This brought forth protests from those
opposed to, well, whatever. Historically, the American military has usually
had more foreigners in the ranks than it does now. During the American Civil
War about twenty percent of the Union Army was foreign born troops. There
were entire divisions of Irish, Germans, or Scandinavians. For the rest of
the 20th century, the all-volunteer military continued to have a higher
(than today) percentage of foreigners. Recruiting foreigners would enable
the army to get more highly capable recruits and ones with needed foreign
language and cultural awareness skills. Naturally, they would have to speak
acceptable English, just as resident foreigners in the United States or
citizens from Puerto Rico must. The American military pay and benefits are
competitive with U.S. civilian occupations, but to most foreigners, these
pay levels are astronomical. The risk is low, as only about one in a
thousand foreign born volunteers died in Iraq or Afghanistan. All that and
you get to become a citizen of the United States after your four year
enlistment is up. The only question was which line would be longer at
American embassies, the one for visas, or the one for military recruiting?

And then there is Britain. Two centuries ago, Gurkhas were first recruited
into the British Indian army, not the British army. After India became
independent in 1947 they too recruited Gurkhas for Indian infantry units.
But service in the British army was considered a better deal. Britain has
long recruited foreigners into its army and navy because there has always
been a shortage of British citizens willing to serve.

Then there is the French Foreign Legion, which is supposed to be nothing but
foreigners (except for the officers). But many French join, claiming to be
from the French speaking parts of Belgium. No matter, if otherwise
qualified, the "Belgians" are signed up. In Italy, the Vatican (a small part
of Rome that is an independent country controlled by the Roman Catholic
Church) gets most of its security forces from Catholic areas of Switzerland.
This is the Swiss Guard. While the French Foreign Legion dates from the 19th
century, Swiss have been serving as foreign mercenaries since the 15th
century. But these contingents disappeared as better economic opportunities
developed in Switzerland and mercenaries became less popular.







Dennis

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Jan 3, 2012, 12:05:03 AM1/3/12
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La N. wrote:

> Nevertheless, Russia is making it easier for foreigners to join.
> Recruits still must be able to speak Russian, have no criminal record,
> and meet physical and educational standards but other than that,
> anyone is welcome to sign up for five years as a contract
> (non-conscript) soldier. This didn't bring in a lot of new people but
> every little bit helps. The navy and air force are particularly short
> of technically qualified personnel and don't care if the new guys
> speak with an accent. Currently, only a few hundred foreigners are
> serving, most from countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union.
> But there are also a few from Germany and Israel (where a lot of
> Russians had immigrated to in the past 30 years).

It could be interesting to be in the Russian Navy. The roughest part
would be speaking Russian, maybe. Habitability is known to be fairly
poor, I believe, as is reliability.

> Then there is the French Foreign Legion, which is supposed to be
> nothing but foreigners (except for the officers). But many French
> join, claiming to be from the French speaking parts of Belgium. No
> matter, if otherwise qualified, the "Belgians" are signed up.

Is the French Foreign Legion still as tough as it was always supposed to
be? There's a language I *do* speak!

> In
> Italy, the Vatican (a small part of Rome that is an independent
> country controlled by the Roman Catholic Church) gets most of its
> security forces from Catholic areas of Switzerland. This is the Swiss
> Guard. While the French Foreign Legion dates from the 19th century,
> Swiss have been serving as foreign mercenaries since the 15th century.

AIRC, the Swiss Guards came exclusively from Valais Canton, some of
which speaks French and some of which speaks German. They'd have to
speak Italian at the Vatican. It's not just learning to handle pikes,
but AK-47s too!

> But these contingents disappeared as better economic opportunities
> developed in Switzerland and mercenaries became less popular.

I believe they still have them!

Dennis

La N.

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Jan 3, 2012, 12:15:52 AM1/3/12
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"Dennis" <tsalagi...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns9FCEEAD30E2FAts...@130.133.4.11...
> La N. wrote:
>
>> Nevertheless, Russia is making it easier for foreigners to join.
>> Recruits still must be able to speak Russian, have no criminal record,
>> and meet physical and educational standards but other than that,
>> anyone is welcome to sign up for five years as a contract
>> (non-conscript) soldier. This didn't bring in a lot of new people but
>> every little bit helps. The navy and air force are particularly short
>> of technically qualified personnel and don't care if the new guys
>> speak with an accent. Currently, only a few hundred foreigners are
>> serving, most from countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union.
>> But there are also a few from Germany and Israel (where a lot of
>> Russians had immigrated to in the past 30 years).
>
> It could be interesting to be in the Russian Navy. The roughest part
> would be speaking Russian, maybe. Habitability is known to be fairly
> poor, I believe, as is reliability.
>

Yeah, I found that part interesting having myself just recently toured the
Russian missile cruiser Varyag and met some of the sailors. I swear a lot
of them didn't look much older than 15.

- nilita


dott.Piergiorgio

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Jan 3, 2012, 5:34:00 AM1/3/12
to
????

the modern weaponry of Swiss guard are, last time I checked, the Sauer
P22* and KH MP5 (the same weaponry of swiss army, because all Guards has
done mil service home); I don't think they use Kalashnikovs, because the
potential battlefield's uniqueness don't allow wild spraying fire, and
I'm not referring to living "collateral damages"...

And you ought to not underestimate wearing an heavy shining breast
armour & helmet in the Roman summer, trust me....

>> But these contingents disappeared as better economic opportunities
>> developed in Switzerland and mercenaries became less popular.
>
> I believe they still have them!

In the case of the swiss guards, those can be considered the "good side"
equivalent of pasdarans & quaedists; their motivation is substantially
the same ;)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

Dennis

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Jan 3, 2012, 5:21:36 PM1/3/12
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dott.Piergiorgio wrote:

>>> In
>>> Italy, the Vatican (a small part of Rome that is an independent
>>> country controlled by the Roman Catholic Church) gets most of its
>>> security forces from Catholic areas of Switzerland. This is the
>>> Swiss Guard. While the French Foreign Legion dates from the 19th
>>> century, Swiss have been serving as foreign mercenaries since the
>>> 15th century.
>>
>> AIRC, the Swiss Guards came exclusively from Valais Canton, some of
>> which speaks French and some of which speaks German. They'd have to
>> speak Italian at the Vatican. It's not just learning to handle
>> pikes, but AK-47s too!
>
> ????
>
> the modern weaponry of Swiss guard are, last time I checked, the Sauer
> P22* and KH MP5 (the same weaponry of swiss army, because all Guards
> has done mil service home); I don't think they use Kalashnikovs,
> because the potential battlefield's uniqueness don't allow wild
> spraying fire, and I'm not referring to living "collateral damages"...

That makes sense. They would be like the US Secret Secret Service, not
the French Foreign Legion.

> And you ought to not underestimate wearing an heavy shining breast
> armour & helmet in the Roman summer, trust me....

Since I live in a hot area, I can well imagine! I hope they have some
sort of webbing, etc. to help with this.

>>> But these contingents disappeared as better economic opportunities
>>> developed in Switzerland and mercenaries became less popular.
>>
>> I believe they still have them!
>
> In the case of the swiss guards, those can be considered the "good
> side" equivalent of pasdarans & quaedists; their motivation is
> substantially the same ;)

??? I don't get it, do you mean prestige?

Dennis

dott.Piergiorgio

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Jan 4, 2012, 6:32:43 AM1/4/12
to
Il 03/01/2012 23:21, Dennis ha scritto:

>> In the case of the swiss guards, those can be considered the "good
>> side" equivalent of pasdarans& quaedists; their motivation is
>> substantially the same ;)
>
> ??? I don't get it, do you mean prestige?

Vatican is by all means a *theocracy* and their military reflect this....

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


> Dennis

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