The 5 Minute Debrief: Kim Jong Fun pushes the big red button

Contributor:  Richard de Silva and Andrew Elwell
Posted:  02/14/2013  12:00:00 AM EST
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Tags:   5 Minute Debrief

America the brave?

The age of American invasion and occupation is over. That’s what president Obama said in his State of the Union address this week, signalling the end of the 9/11 shadow which has shaped foreign policy for a decade. “Different al-Qaida affiliates and extremist groups have emerged — from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The threat these groups pose is evolving,” Obama said. “But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali.” In recent years the president has favoured the use of UAVs in the so-called covert war against enemy actors.

Kim Jong Fun keeps the world on its toes

Despite protestations from friend and foe alike, the North Koreans went ahead with its underground nuclear missile detonation. The blast, which caused an earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale, will send shockwaves through diplomatic circles as Kim Jong Un continues to stamp his feet and demand attention (Defence IQ won’t go quite as far as comparing him to John Bender from The Breakfast Club as another publication has done, but it’s not a million miles away). Even China, North Korea’s closest ally, was against Pyongyang’s nuclear test in seven years. President Obama called the move “highly provocative” – it certainly won’t help ease tensions in the region as China and Japan continue to posture over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

Land force commanders meet at UK vehicles forum

Some of the world’s leading international senior leaders met last week at the annual International Armoured Vehicles event in Farnborough, UK. General Sher Mohamma Karimi, Chief of the Afghan Army Staff, thanked the multinational delegation for aiding his country back to its feet and acknowledged that his forces must now prepare for an independent future in which it may be called to defend itself in the future from hostile neighbours. Both the UK and French land force commanders also addressed the attendees, along with notable presentations from South American and African officers. The issues of mobility and training for future land vehicle strategies seemed to take precedence, with most nations indicating a move towards fleshing out its medium and light armoured vehicle fleets beyond the knee-jerk adoption of MRAPs.

Denmark’s APC down to five

The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) has whittled the number of contractors for its armoured personnel carrier (APC) programme down to five after inviting eight suppliers to tender for the contract, which could be for up to 450 vehicles. The vehicles still in contention include: CV90 Armadillo from BAE Systems Hägglunds, the Piranha 5 from the GDLS-Mowag team, the ASCOD 2, Nexter’s VBCI and  the Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) Protected Mission Module Carrier (PMMC) G5.

Iran in (yet another) Photoflop gaff

The recent press announcement from the Iranian government heralding the introduction of the nation’s first stealth fighter was met at the time with raised eyebrows and a great deal of scepticism. That scepticism now appears even more well founded with the finding that a recent photo release of the jet taking to the skies high above a mountain range is simply a doctored image, composited from a stock photo image and the very same shot of the “advanced fighter” previously released – right down to the same positioning and lighting. The latest bust is just one of several that have drawn suspicion over the true capabilities of Iranian aerospace technology, following the first-Iranian-monkey-in-space fiasco (a different monkey was shown to have “returned” to the Earth’s surface). Our prediction this week is that this will not be the last Persian Photoshop ploy we see before the end of the year…

Also, remember when Ahmadinejad said he wanted to be the first Iranian astronaut? Well...

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