“US Army Eyes Ukraine Conflict for Intel on Russian Military Technology” (DoD Buzz)

Still image taken from handout aerial footage shot by drone shows outline o airplane in the snow at the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport damaged by shelling during fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces, in Donetsk

“The U.S. Army is working to glean intelligence on Russian military technology from the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, American generals said.

The Moscow-backed rebels are waging a hybrid war that includes the use of soft power such as disinformation and cyberattacks to hard power such as truck-mounted Grad rocket launchers, according to Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe.”

See the full article here.

“Unidentified troops land in Aden after Houthis seize center” (Reuters)

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“(Reuters) – Dozens of unidentified troops landed by sea in Aden in an apparent last-ditch effort by a Saudi-led coalition to shore up a foothold in the southern Yemeni port city after Shi’ite Houthi fighters seized control of its center on Thursday.”

See the full article here.

“Can this joint Arab military force succeed where others have failed?” (Brookings)

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The Arab leaders did endorse the air campaign in Yemen requested by Yemeni President Hadi, now in exile. The summit also called for a meeting of Arab military chiefs of staff to be held within a month to begin working out operational details and planning for a joint military force. The military chiefs will then report on their plans three months later to a meeting of the Arab League’s Joint Defense Council. Kuwait, Egypt and Morocco will lead the planning as the former, present and future chairs of the Arab League. The force will be voluntary— join if you want— not required of member states. ”

Read the full article here.

What does an Arab League joint military force mean for the crisis in Yemen? (PBS News Hour)

“The decision by the 21 nations of the Arab League to create a joint military force because of the crisis in Yemen raises the question: Why didn’t the organization mobilize the same way to fight ISIS in Iraq? Matt Bradley of The Wall Street Journal joins Hari Sreenivasan via Skype from Erbil, Iraq, to discuss the muddled situation.”

Strengthening the Strategic Partnership of the United States and Afghanistan (State and FP)

Featured Image -- 917“During the historic visit to Washington of President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah from March 22 to 25, 2015, U.S. and Afghan officials have reviewed the achievements of the last 13 years and discussed the actions each country needs to take to ensure that the social, economic, security, and human rights gains made over that period are sustained and advanced. Secretary of State John Kerry — joined by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, and other senior U.S. officials — held strategic dialogue sessions at Camp David with President Ghani and the Afghan delegation on March 23 to discuss a broad range of bilateral issues.” (State)

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday, March 24, that he would slow the rate at which U.S. troops leave Afghanistan over the next two years, but will stick with his plan of having almost all of them out of the country by 2017.

Under the new timeline, 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan through the end of this year. Obama’s previous plan had called for drawing down to 5,500 troops by the end of 2015. The new plan allows the United States to keep control of two key bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad, where the Taliban threat is close by. With more troops staying in the war zone, U.S. casualties could rise still higher. Since the start of the war, America’s longest conflict, the military has suffered 2,215 deaths and 20,000 wounded.” (FP)

Thus, the U.S. will continue to have troops in Afghanistan until at least 2017.

Remains found after crash of military helicopter carrying 11 (AP)

“Human remains washed ashore in heavy fog Wednesday after seven Marines and four soldiers were killed in an Army helicopter crash during a night-time training mission off a Florida beach.

All 11 service members were presumed dead, according to a Pentagon official who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for lack of authority to be identified in the media.”

Read the full AP report here.

“UK defence spending ‘concerns’ US Army chief Raymond Odierno” – BBC

Raymond Odierno

General Odierno told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I would be lying to you if I did not say that I am very concerned about the GDP investment in the UK.'”

Read the full article here.

U.K. Armed Forces