The following is the July 18, 2013 review by the U.S. Coast Guard of Major Icebreakers of the World.
The Coast Guard Office of Waterways and Ocean Policy (CG-WWM) began producing the chart of major icebreakers of the world in July 2010. Since then, we have gathered icebreaker information and recommendations from a variety of sources and experts, including icebreaker subject-matter experts, internet posts, news updates, Arctic experts and Coast Guard offices with icebreaker equities. We validate our information within the public forum and update the chart at least semi-annually based on new information and feedback. This chart represents the Coast Guard’s current factual understanding of the major icebreaker fleet. This chart is not intended for icebreaker fleet comparisons and no inference should be drawn regarding a country’s icebreaker “ranking” against another. Read More
Panamaniain investigators inspect a Cuban MiG 21 found hidden on a North Korean merchant vessel on July 21, 2013. REUTERS Photo
Panamanian officials have found two 1950s era MiG-21 fighters onboard a North Korean ship detained last week after authorities detained the ship after an initial discovery of components of a surface-to-air missile system originating from Cuba, government officials said on Sunday. Read More
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a vocal advocate for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict, is right about at least one thing—a victory for President Bashar al-Assad is a victory for his allies in Iran.
McCain is wrong on many other accounts, most notably the assumption that a more favorable outcome can be achieved if the United States plays a more heavy-handed role in the conflict: history shows that to be false. Read More
A picture of the alleged missile parts found onboard a North Korean merchant ship by Panamanian officials tweeted by President Ricardo Martinelli.
A North Korean flagged ship was seized by Panamanian authorities for allegedly transporting missiles from Cuba, according to a Monday radio interview with president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli.
Panamanian officials searched the merchant vessel Chong Chon Gang on Friday and uncovered the alleged missile components. Read More
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as part of their national defense speakers series on July 11, 2013. US Navy Photo
The commandant of the Marine Corps and the chief of naval operations made the case for forward presence in an era of declining defense spending at a Washington to a national security forum think tank last week as events in Egypt threaten to spiral out of control.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert explained how the Navy and the Marine Corps can react quickly to situations citing the movement of USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and USS San Antonio (LPD-17) into the Red Sea following the Egyptian military’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi from office as an immediate example of forward presence’s value and tailored forces. The ships were sent closer to the conflict, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen” in Egypt. “We can’t garrison and respond. It will be too late,” to handle a possible evacuation of Americans from the country, Greenert said. Read More
An alleged ballistic missile site outside of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Jane’s Photo
Saudi Arabia appears to have a previously undisclosed ballistic missile site possessing launch sites oriented toward Israel and Iran, according to an analysis of satellite images from Jane’s Defence Weekly.
The site — believed to use Chinese DF-3 ballistic missiles acquired by Saudi Arabia in the 1980s — is about 125 miles southwest of the capital of Riyadh near the town of Al-Watah.
According to the report, one launch pad is oriented toward Israeli targets — including Tel Aviv — while a second pad is set to send missiles in the direction of Tehran. Read More
USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), left, leads the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD-17) on June 16, 2013. US Navy Photo
Marines on two amphibious warships in the Red Sea have not been given tasking to respond to the growing unrest in Egypt, Navy and Marine Corps officials told USNI News on Friday.
“There hasn’t been an official tasking,” Marine Capt. Eric Flanagan at the Pentagon told USNI News.
“They’re not getting ready to go into Egypt.” Read More
A crew member prepares to board a tanker that was hijacked by pirates in Benin on 24 July 2011. UN Photo
The winds of global piracy have shifted, as attacks by pirates off West Africa now exceed those of their Somali counterparts. The Nigeria-based pirates may not yet inspire Hollywood films, but they have prompted regional governments to take collective action. A June 24–25 summit in Yaounde, Cameroon, brought representatives from the Economic Community of West African States, the Economic Community of Central African States, and the Gulf of Guinea Commission together to draft a code of conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity. It has been signed by 22 states. Read More
An undated photo of the ENS S. Ezzat, an Egyptian Fast Missile Craft. VT Halter Marine Photo
In the wake of the public uprising that deposed former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — senior members on the Senate Armed Services Committee — have called on the Obama administration to suspend $1.5 billion in military aid to Egypt.
“We ought to suspend aid until the new government shows that it is willing to — and in fact does — schedule elections and put in place a process to come up with a new constitution,” Levin said Monday. Read More
From the July, 1 2013 Congressional Research Service report: Syria’s Chemical Weapons:
Issues for Congress:
The use or loss of control of chemical weapons stocks in Syria could have unpredictable consequences for the Syrian population and neighboring countries as well as U.S. allies and forces in the region. Congress may wish to assess the Administration’s plans to respond to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons. Read More