Wires Brief: UK most cyber breached country in Europe; US claims they killed 70 Taliban leaders, Canada invests more into F-35

Data Hacker Hacking Computer Security Internet

 

United Kingdom

MPs have expressed concern over the contract replacement for the E-3D Sentry (more commonly known as AWACS), with the possibility being raised Boeing will automatically be awarded it without a tendering process. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence said, “No decision has been made with regard to the future delivery of the UK’s Airborne Warning and Control capabilities, although a range of options are being explored.”

A survey by security firm Thales has revealed that the UK is the most digitally breached country in Europe.  Thales chief strategy officer said,  “A tidal wave of data breaches is continuing to roll across Europe, with three in every four organisations now a victim of cyber-crime.”

Europe

A Russian journalist has faked his own death in a move that seems to have come straight out of a spy story. The journalist, Arkady Babchenko, said Ukrainian security services “suggested I take part in a sting operation” after suggesting he was being targeted by Russian assassins.

Four EU cyber security agencies have announced they will be working together to better provide digital security.  Head of the European Defence Agency, Federica Mogherini, said, “Cyber space threats do not know of national borders. Cooperation among member states, but also at European level, is therefore essential.”

A bid for Poland to host a US military base has recently come to light. A 17-page document stating Poland’s case for a US armoured division says the country would be willing to pay up to $2 billion to have the base as a deterrent against Russia. NATO diplomats say neither US nor Polish officials have raised the proposal in NATO headquarters in Brussels.

North America

Canada has paid in an additional $54 million dollars to its F-35 jet development, bringing its overall cost to half a billion dollars. This  comes just as the Canadian government prepares to replace its fleet of CF-18 jets, with Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau having pledged before being elected that he would scrap any Canadian F-35 purchases.

A US tariff on steel and aluminium from the EU, Mexico and Canada could hurt domestic defence companies, with senior figures speaking out. Aerospace Industries Association CEO Eric Fanning said, “We have concerns about tariffs for a number of reasons: Its impact on the global supply chain, what that could mean to our companies.”

The US has renamed its Pacific Command to the US Indo-Pacific Command. Defence Secretary James Mattis said, “In recognition of the increasing connectivity of the Indian and Pacific Oceans today we rename the US Pacific Command to the US Indo-Pacific Command.” This renaming also comes amidst strained relations with China, in which India is increasingly an important strategic partner for the US in the region.

Africa

A spokesperson for the Chinese military has confirmed the first China-Africa defence forum will take place in June. The forum aims to promote security partnerships between China and African nations, with an emphasis on regional security issues and the self-development of African security capabilities.

Middle East

President Bashar Assad of Syria has said there are no Iranian soldiers in his country beyond those in an advisory role. Israel disputes this claim, especially after its recent airstrikes which it says struck multiple Iranian forces operating alongside the Syrian armed forces.

There has been a meeting of representatives from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The Saudis would apparently fund a border force, which is something Turkey would not be supportive of as it regards the Kurdish units as terrorists.

Asia-Pacific

The US military claims that they killed at least 70 Taliban leaders in a missile strike. This comes at a time when the Taliban are increasing their territory and control over the country whilst also rejecting any claims that the group is in dialogue with the Afghan government.

The Chinese Defence Ministry has said it hopes for a continued relationship with its US counterpart despite being uninvited from a US-sponsored naval exercise. A Chinese spokesperson said, “A sound and healthy relationship is in the common interests of the two militaries.”

NATO’s second-in-command will address a security forum in Singapore, with special focus on the situation with North Korea. The visit will be part of wider moves by NATO to open dialogues with states outside its traditional Atlantic sphere of influence, designating certain countries such as Japan and Australia as “global partners.”

The US Navy has sailed warships past disputed islands in the South China Sea, with a statement from China requesting the US “immediately stop such provocative actions that encroach upon China’s sovereignty and threaten China’s security.” It is the first time under the Obama or Trump administrations that more than one US warship has been involved in a manoeuvre like this.

 

Social Media Wires

The ISIS Khorasan chapter releases a photo of the 10-man team responsible for their attack in Kabul.

 

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group in Lithuania.

Feature photo – Data Hack – MaxPixel, 2018

The Wires Brief is a mid week breaking news report incorporating wire service news and social media updates. DefRep can not verify the authenticity of social media reporters nor the accuracy of social media updates

Robert Grayston is DefenceReport’s marketing coordinator and occasional contributor. His most recent experience has involved security policy work for a member of the Shadow Defence team in the British Parliament. He can be emailed at rgrayston@defencereport.com