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EXCLUSIVE: Drones Now Dominate Israeli Flying Operations

Posted by Arie Egozi on


“Last year 78 percent of the IAF’s operational flight hours were performed by UAS. This year the number jumped and is 80 percent,” Lt. Col. S. told me at the Tel-Nof Air Force base, where the largest Israeli drone, the Heron-TP flies from. Breaking Defense was granted exclusive access to the White Eagle squadron there.

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Emergencies: France, Mali, and Turkey Are Playing With Fire

Posted by Michael Shurkin on


Lost in this month’s headlines is the fact that the democratically elected leaders of three countries close to the United States and important for its security strategies — France, Mali, and Turkey — have declared (or in France’s case, extended) formal states of emergency. All three states cited good reasons for doing so: France and… Keep reading →

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US Special Operators Helped Mali Hotel Rescue: AFRICOM

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Two US special operators assisted with this morning’s hostage rescue operation in Bamako, Mali, a US Africa Command spokesman confirmed. The operators were in Mali already as advisors and so could swiftly respond to support the local forces, Col. Mark Cheadle told me. The Americans advised their Malian counterparts, who conducted the rescue, and physically helped… Keep reading →

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France, Eager To Boost Exports, Touts ‘Combat Proven’ Gear

Posted by Colin Clark on


PARIS AIR SHOW: Crowds thronged around the French Defense Ministry pavilion today, chatting with Rafale fighter pilots and the engineers who helped build the planes. It was a most unusual sight, all those civilians — with a fairly high percentage of women — listening intently to and then chatting with the pilots, who also stood in… Keep reading →

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Beef Up UN Peacekeepers; Let Them Kill Bad Guys

Posted by Rachel Kleinfeld on


Islamists are regrouping in Mali, but France wants to draw its forces down to 1,000 troops, so who will fill the gap? The UN, which already has 5,500 soldiers on the ground? A fragile truce holds in the Central Africa Republic, where more than one million people have been displaced by gruesome fighting between Muslims… Keep reading →

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French Lessons From Mali: Fight Alone, Supply Together

Posted by Colin Clark on


By Murielle Delaporte French forces appear to have succeeded in Mali. They blunted the mad progress of Islamist forces during Operation Serval for those who don’t know, the serval is a gorgeous, sleek and fast African cat known for grabbing hidden prey from rocks and holes) drove them back to the northern mountains and seem to have broken the… Keep reading →

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Reps. Mac Thornberry, Adam Smith Lead House Push For More Foreign Military Training; Leahy Amendment Targeted

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Sequestration, Continuing Resolution, and snow be damned; the House Armed Services Committee met this morning to wrestle with long-term strategy. In a hearing not only overshadowed but outright interrupted by the House’s desperate effort to band-aid the budget crisis, top HASC leaders from both parties argued for expanding the military’s authorities to work… Keep reading →

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Mali: France’s Version Of Shock And Awe, Add Allies, Crush AQIM

Posted by Murielle Delaporte on


France has been hailed by the people of Mali for driving al Qaeda-linked thugs from their country. Malians greeted French President Francois Hollande with cheers of Vive la France when he recently visited Timbuktu. But the rebels and al Qaeda are not yet crushed, though they have been forced to cede most inhabited territory. The… Keep reading →

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ASD Mike Sheehan: Yemen, Somalia Are Models For Mali; Afghans Should Watch

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: French forces have made great strides driving al-Qaeda-linked insurgents out of Mali’s major cities, said the Pentagon’s top counterterrorism official, Michael Sheehan. But any long-term solution requires local forces in the lead — not Westerners. And those recent successes in Yemen and Somalia provide a model for Mali — and for Afghanistan after 2014.… Keep reading →

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Adm. Bill McRaven: SOCOM Struggles With CR, Sequester

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED with comments from Maj. Gen. Michael Repass, SOCEUR]WASHINGTON: Even the celebrated Special Operations Command is feeling the budgetary bite of Washington dysfunction, SOCOM chief Adm. William McRaven said today. “I haven’t gone through the list yet,” McRaven told reporters accosting him after a speech, but SOCOM will make cuts “just like the services” (the… Keep reading →

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