Sunday, 14 April 2024
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joseph.fallonIn the undeclared war in the Red Sea and Yemen, the U.S. has misjudged the Houthis, "part of the Bakil confederation, the largest tribal group in Yemen", as it previously had misjudged the Taliban. In doing so, Washington has provided the Houthis, as it did the Taliban, an opportunity to "bleed' America of money and material, undermining an aging U.S. military machine already overstretched, underfunded, undermanned, and lacking the means to successfully fight wars simultaneously in Europe and Asia. This is the real threat Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea pose to U.S. national security, writes Joseph E Fallon.

In "Who are the Houthis and why are they attacking Red Sea ships?," January 15, 2024, the BBC reported "Following the start of the war in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis started firing drones and missiles towards Israel. Most have been intercepted. On 19 November, the Houthis hijacked a commercial ship in the Red Sea and have since attacked more than two dozen others with drones, missiles and speed boats. US-led naval forces thwarted many of the attacks. The Houthis say they are targeting ships which are Israeli-owned, flagged or operated, or which are heading to Israeli ports. However, many have no connections with Israel."

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Offset the compulsory inward investment imposed on foreign defence suppliers by a purchasing government is tolerated as a feature of the market rather than embraced. Tolerance of offset has become increasingly important over the last ten years. Since 1999, 22 countries have introduced formal offset legislation or policies. The scope of offset obligations is also increasing in terms of both the quota required by the buyer and the range of contractors obligated. This helps to explain why the European Commission (EC) and the US Department of Commerce (DoC) view offset as legally and commercially problematic.

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By David Hoghton-Carter, Research Associate U K Defence Forum

Nearly two weeks ago, the MOD announced that Project Belvedere, the military's scheme to consolidate helicopter basing and command and control facilities, was finally being scrapped. This truly flabbergasting event comes in spite of how patently hale and hearty the plans were.

Apologies for the brief segue into sarcasm after all, the eventual death of Project Belvedere falls under the "OK, we've got to finally fess up that this is going nowhere" approach to project management. The MOD Press Release was slipped out amidst the ongoing expenses scandal, (good day to bury bad news anyone? The old ones are the good ones...)

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