September 27, 2008

Russia to build missile defence shield

Russia is to build new space and missile defence shields and put its armed forces on permanent combat alert, President Medvedev announced yesterday.

In a sharp escalation of military rhetoric, Mr Medvedev ordered a wholesale renovation of Russia’s nuclear deterrence and told military chiefs to draw up plans to reorganise the armed forces by December.

He said that Russia must modernise its nuclear defences within eight years, including the creation of a “system of air and space defence”.

The announcement puts Russia in a new arms race with the United States, which has infuriated the Kremlin by seeking to establish an anti-missile shield in eastern Europe. The US argues that the shield is aimed at rogue states such as Iran, but Russia is convinced that its own security is threatened.

add to that, that Medvedev and Chávez sign $1 billion military loan, and Russia has sent a warship to Somolia after another ship has been hijacked by Somali pirates, what's an Empire to do?
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Islamabad in rebuke to US after shoot-out

THE first major shoot-out on the tense border with Afghanistan between anti-terrorism allies Pakistan and the US plunged their relations to a new low last night as President Asif Ali Zardari told Washington: "Friends can't be intruders."

In a dramatic escalation of the stand-off between the two nations over cross-border raids, conflicting accounts emerged of what military analysts regard as a serious encounter involving groundfire by Pakistani troops aimed at bringing down US helicopter gunships.

The US forces - part of the NATO coalition force fighting in Afghanistan - fired back at Pakistani positions from their helicopter gunships as well as from the ground in what is the biggest exchange of its kind.

"It is in the interests of both sides at this stage to try to play things down. But there can be no disguising the seriousness of this encounter, and what it means in terms of future co-operation. Things are going from bad to worse," a well-placed military source in Islamabad told The Weekend Australian last night.

Official Pakistani military spokesmen said the shooting started when the US helicopter gunships were spotted flying deep inside Pakistani territory in North Waziristan, a hotbed of jihadi militancy that is a stronghold for militants operating in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

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