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The U.S. military presence in Iraq is predicated on permission to be there from the Iraqi government, and U.S. forces will remain so long as the Iraqi government agrees, the undersecretary of defense for policy said. "Our intention is to stay. Do we plan to change the posture of U.S. forces? Not at this time," said John C. Rood, who spoke yesterday during a Defense Writers Group meeting in Washington. "We are very clear that we are there with the permission of the Iraqi government," Rood said. "And that is a necessary condition for U.S. forces to be there."

The NATO leaders’ meeting marking the 70th anniversary of the Alliance wrapped up in London on Wednesday (4 December 2019). After the working session, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Our meeting has once again demonstrated that NATO remains the only place where Europe and North America discuss, decide and act every day together on strategic issues that concern our shared security”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired the third meeting on the development of the armed forces. "The effectiveness of the Navy and the armed forces, in general, depends on timely information obtained from spacecraft and reliable operation of navigational and communication systems, integration of all information resources, capabilities of artificial intelligence on the battlefield. We shall consider the complicated issues which are closed for the public," the president said.

U.S. forces are reset and repostured in Eastern Syria and have restarted operations with the Syrian Democratic Forces aimed at defeating ISIS, Army Lt. Gen. Robert White, the commander of Combined Joint Operation Inherent Resolve, said last week in Baghdad. Jim Garamone reports on U.S. Army’s website.

On Friday, Nov.29, the German parliament (Bundestag) passed its budget for 2020. At the heart of the budget presented by finance minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) is a massive increase in military spending, Johannes Stern reports on wsws.org. Five years ago, at the Munich Security Conference in 2014, the grand coalition announced Germany’s return to an aggressive foreign and great power policy. The far-reaching consequences of such a policy are increasingly reflected in the current budget.

Pantsir and Tor antiaircraft guns have to down cruise missiles, aircraft and drones. Formally, they need a brief stopover to fire. However, Syrian combat experience showed they have to destroy the attacking force in motion, e.g. if kamikaze drones attack. The assaults are mortally dangerous for marching hardware, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russia is creating intermediate-range missiles, but will not deploy them unless similar US weapons appear in Europe, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said. He added Washington is designing both missiles and "various exotic systems" with parameters banned by the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty which was terminated in 2019. Experts believe the arms race is inevitable now and will include a bigger number of countries, the Izvestia daily writes, echoed by TASS.

Robotization of ground forces has been of interest for the military of the world since the early last century. The development of technologies allowed implementing the idea only now. Growing military budgets in the past decade caused a landslide of artificial intellect projects and combat robots. The Izvestia writes about the current state of affairs.

In an interview on the Ekho Moskvy radio station on November 10, 2019, the deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Lt. Gen. Yuri Grekhov, noted that Russian air-defense systems are being upgraded to focus on UAV threats. In Syria, the Russian military has faced a number of attacks from crude UAVs rigged with explosives, which have caused damage to military installations, including those away from the front lines.

The art of sniping is more than just proper cover, concealment and sight alignment; it demands vigilant situational awareness, flawless timing and solid arithmetic skills. Sgt. 1st Class Shaiyla Hakeem explains on U.S. Army’s website.

Marine brigades of the Russian Navy will be reformed. Each one will get an additional four battalions, including a tank one. The heavy armor will help marines fight autonomously in any part of the world without any support from other arms of troops.

Battalions armed with TOS-1A heavy flamethrowers will be created in each Russian military district. Their main task will be to destroy enemy fortifications. The Russian military has long discussed the engagement concept of the flamethrowers although the weapon has been exported for many years. Only now has the TOS-1A found its place in the combat order. It has to burn the ground by thermobaric projectiles before an attack, the Izvestia daily writes.

The Russian 22nd antiaircraft regiment in Kaliningrad region will receive Tor-M2s by the end of 2019. They are the most perfect short-range air defense weapons in the world capable of downing any aircraft, drone or smart bomb with one missile. Experts believe Tor in the Baltic enclave is a response to NATO reinforcement in the Baltics and Poland, the Izvestia daily writes.

The Russian armed forces are rearmed faster than planned, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said. The increase of the defense budget from 1.44 to 1.50 trillion rubles helped increase the share of new and upgraded arms to 68 percent. It means hundreds of additional weapons and hardware in the whole army. The Defense Ministry is sure to report 70 percent in 2020. The figure was set yet in 2013.

The Russian Defense Ministry launched an experiment to increase the effectiveness of missile troops and artillery. Besides the design of new weapons and the upgrade of available ones, a new staff matrix for battalions, regiments and brigades is drafted. The latest Center-2019 exercise tested the new artillery concept, the Military-Industrial Courier writes.

The creation of a new world order is accompanied by US and Western efforts to oust Russia from the zones of traditional interests and turn it into an ordinary regional power. Sanctions and pressure on Moscow aim at weakening and dragging it into the arms race. Preservation of strategic stability as the basis of economic growth and security becomes vital, the Military-Industrial Courier writes.

Presented Friday, September 27, in the Council of Ministers by Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, the 2020 budget for the Armies foresees an increase of the resources of € 1.7 billion, to reach € 37.5 billion. Modernization of major equipment, creation of posts, innovation: overview of the main lines of the Army budget for next year.

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