The Arms Industry – Forrestal Memorial Mon, 21 Jun 2021 18:01:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Arms Industry – Forrestal Memorial 32 32 No foreigners for the moment, only senior officials of the Ministry of Defense will lead the newly corporatized OFB as a deputation: The Tribune India Mon, 21 Jun 2021 15:59:00 +0000

Vijay Mohan
Tribune press service

Chandigarh, June 21

No foreigner would be appointed to the board of directors of the newly corporatized Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and their appointments for the moment would be made within establishments under the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

“The first board of directors of the legal person (s) must be appointed from among the senior officials in office of the OFB / Department of Defense Production, the Armed Forces, the Auditor General of Defense and the nine companies.” existing defense public bodies, ”states a memo issued by the planning wing of the Defense Production Department.

On June 17, the Union cabinet approved the transformation of the OFB into a company, so that its 41 factories were subsumed into seven public sector defense companies wholly owned by the government.

The Defense Ministry has sought the list of qualifying officers, who choose to join the newly formed companies, from the aforementioned departments before June 30.

The selected managers would be placed in presumed delegation to new legal entities, but without delegation compensation. They would be governed by the conditions applicable to the foreign service and would be subject to the rules and regulations of the service such as salaries and allowances, leaves and career progression that are applicable to them in their parent setting, adds the note.

Based in Calcutta, OFB is the oldest and largest organization in the country’s defense industry, dating back to 1787 when a gunpowder factory was established by the British at Ishapore.

They produce a wide range of equipment for the armed forces, paramilitary organizations and, to a lesser extent, the civilian market.

This includes weapons and ammunition, soft-coated vehicles, armored vehicles, personal equipment and clothing, parachutes, optoelectronic devices, surveillance equipment and ancillary items.

In the new scheme of things, the 41 factories have been converted into seven public sector defense companies. Munitions and Explosives, headquartered in Khadki, will take over 12 factories, while Weapons and Equipment, headquartered in Kanpur, and Ancillary, headquartered in Ambajhari, will each receive eight factories.

The vehicles, headquartered in Avadi, will get five factories, Troop Comfort Items, headquartered in Kanpur, will get four. Optoelectronics, headquartered in Dehradun, will get three, while Parachute in Kanpur will consist of a single unit.

The OFB’s corporate transformation plan was designed some 20 years ago to revitalize and streamline the operation of factories that have often been criticized by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defense and the Comptroller and Auditor’s control. general of India regarding poor product quality, mismanagement, delayed lead times and lack of technological advancement.

According to the latest figures compiled by the Ministry of Defense, the total staff of OFB as of February 1, 2021 was 74,085 and the revenue generated in 2020 was Rs 12,755 crore. Arms and Explosives takes the lion’s share of the two, with 24,436 employees and a turnover of Rs 4,348 crore.

Source link

]]> 0
Space agencies learn how to farm on Mars and the Moon Sun, 20 Jun 2021 14:00:01 +0000

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is one of the space agencies working on automated agricultural and AI techniques for the coming era of interplanetary human colonies.


Whether it is from continent to continent or from coast to coast, people have always traveled widely with plants. Traveling far from Earth would be no different. Our success in other worlds will depend, in part, on the flexible stems of plants.

“Plants are things that we take with us as explorers,” says Anna-Lisa Paul, co-director of the Space Plants Lab at the University of Florida. “They are part of our foundational heritage whether we think about it or not.”

In all of the brief forays into space so far, astronauts have fed almost entirely on packaged food. But if humans ever hope to create long-term habitats on the Moon or Mars, their physical and mental health would benefit from the ability to grow plants.

Space agencies in various countries have spent decades developing the technologies needed to bring agriculture indoors, and now the German Space Agency and NASA are pushing the state of the art of soilless gardening to its limits. with a greenhouse in Antarctica and laying the groundwork for their next act: farming systems where farmers are optional.

NASA, Soviets, and the History of Indoor Farming Experiments

NASA worked to advance space agriculture, in part because a robust plant collection could serve as the ultimate versatile survival system, producing calories and nutrients to eat, breathing oxygen, and taking up dioxide. of carbon in the air.

Building on Soviet research, funded by NASA a variety of agricultural programs in the 1980s and 1990s. Working with the University of Wisconsin, researchers found they could replace hot, bulky incandescent grow lights with a special blend of LED lights. Red LEDs, more energy efficient, allowed plants to photosynthesize. But the plants also needed blue light, otherwise they would get too tall and spindly. The work led to a patent, and today’s indoor farms often feed plants a similar diet of red and blue photons – which is why indoor farms often appear bathed in purple light.

“NASA was truly at the forefront in this area, encouraging their use for these applications,” said Raymond Wheeler, a horticultural scientist who has studied space agriculture at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for decades.

In the late 1980s, Wheeler worked in a KSC team that grew wheat, potatoes, soybeans and other crops with their roots submerged in nutrient solution, stacked in four rows of shelves at the interior of a large cylindrical chamber – probably the first execution of a vertical farming system that has now grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Rows of produce grow on Bowery Farming Inc.’s indoor farm in Kearny, New Jersey, USA on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. The startup uses automation and space-saving vertically stacked crops for a growing season year round which, he says, is much more productive per square foot than traditional farms.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Focusing on ways to meet the ever-increasing demand for food in a sustainable manner, businesses around vertical indoor farming have grown in recent years. New York-based start-up Bowery Farming announced in June a $ 300 million funding round, the largest in the industry to date, valuing the company at $ 2.3 billion. Kimbal Musk, brother of Elon Musk, is the co-founder of Square Roots. Newark-based AeroFarms in April opened a 136,000 square foot farm in Virginia slated to open in 2022 which it says will be the largest indoor vertical aeroponic farm in the world.

Antarctic robots and crops for other worlds

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) sent twin shipping containers to Antarctica in the fall of 2017 in what amounted to a remote dress rehearsal to grow crops on another world.

The EDEN-ISS Antarctic Greenhouse, now entering its fourth growing season, continues to prove that you don’t need fertile soil or even sunlight to grow vegetables. It relies on the mix of LEDs pioneered by early NASA experiments to provide “recipes” tailored to the needs of each specific vegetable with programmable arrays of red and blue lights.

The roots pass through beds of fibrous minerals and hang in empty trays below, where automated nozzles spray them with a nutrient-rich mist every few seconds. Most of the water is recycled, except when the nutrient solution runs out and needs to be discarded and replaced every few months. The whole system plugs into the neighboring German research station Neumeyer III, from which it continuously draws around 10 kilowatts of electricity, which is comparable to eight American homes.

i still need to send [Elon] Musk emails and asks if we can design his greenhouse.

Daniel Schubert, DLR Antarctica project coordinator

In the first year, a DLR researcher named Paul Zabel ran the 135-square-foot greenhouse and collected nearly 600 pounds of vegetables, including cucumbers, lettuce, other leafy greens, tomatoes, radishes and greens. herbs.

But despite the greenhouse’s automated lighting, watering and fertilization systems, Zabel still spent three to four hours a day keeping EDEN-ISS running, Schubert explains. And in space, human labor will be a resource just as precious as water and air.

Having an AI system that takes care of the greenhouse is preferable, according to Daniel Schubert, the Antarctic experiment project coordinator, “in case the astronauts just don’t have the time.”

This year, NASA sent one of its own researchers, Jess Bunchek, to test the US space agency’s favorite varieties of space vegetables in EDEN-ISS. Another major goal of the research will be to collect detailed data on the tasks that take the most time. Bunchek will carry an eight-sided programmable timer that she will use to track the hours she spends on eight categories of work.

One of the major sinks of time has been repairing breakdowns, or “off-rated events” in the double-talk of space exploration. A burst pipe, for example, can take all day to repair. Topping the list of lessons learned from EDEN-ISS is that future installations need to be simpler. “We will definitely reduce the technological complexity of a space greenhouse,” said Schubert.

Spatial imagery for plant stress

In another major step towards automation, the DLR is developing robotic arms to be mounted on a rail suspended from the roof of the greenhouse. These nimble, AI-powered machines would photograph plants from different angles, prune dead leaves and shoots, and even harvest produce, which Schubert says are the most time-consuming activities after repairs.

The end goal is a greenhouse which, if not completely self-sufficient, could at least be fully operated by operators on Earth. Such a facility could land on the Moon or Mars before the astronauts and prepare a basket of cucumbers and tomatoes for their arrival. Astronauts would be able to garden, which can boost mental health, but crops should be able to thrive on their own when astronauts have more urgent tasks.

the The DLR roadmap aims to have their next-generation facility ready to fly by 2030. “I still have to send [Elon] Musk an email and asks if we can design his greenhouse, ”Schubert said.

And developing the ability to cultivate in space isn’t just about going to Mars. A two-way street has always linked space agriculture to industrial agriculture. As climate change makes many parts of the world less suitable for agriculture, technology to separate food production from weather and natural resources is likely to become more essential.

“My dream would be that we all live alone in ecological biospheres,” says Schubert. “We would be completely independent from planet Earth, and we would leave Earth on its own so that it could recover.”

Source link

]]> 0
Armenia goes to the polls – and its future is at stake Fri, 18 Jun 2021 13:59:58 +0000

For political scientist Olya Azatyan, this public research of those responsible for the defeat of Karabakh overshadows the need for a real political debate – and could lead to clashes.

“We are on the brink of civil war. Unfortunately, the campaign is helping, ”she said.

“Male chauvinism and violence are omnipresent in the speeches of the candidates. If you watch the debate, this society is all about middle-aged men yelling at each other. Peace activists are now muted – they exist but society is suffocating them. “

As the majority of parties align themselves with pro-Russian views – Russia is the key to the country’s security – then on the other side of the table are the parties that support democracy, civil society. and foreign investments.

Kocharyan recently said he would apply a foreign spy law like the legislation implemented in Russia.

“This split is a good sign that the debate is starting to turn into concrete ideas. Maybe it will allow the current opposition to become stronger, ”Azatyan said.

Structural reforms

While Armenia’s administrative processes have improved since 2018, including the electoral code, the changes need to be further strengthened to achieve structural reforms, Azatyan added.

“It had been a long time since we had any idea what the election results would be like in advance,” she said. “This is a small part of the democratic reform process in a post-Soviet country.

“Another will be a real and strong opposition and a government made up of professionals to engage in reforms, in justice, economy and education”, continued the political scientist, who believes that it is the first time that Armenian voters are convinced that their votes really matter.

“For now, we have political parties that are multiplying artificially, and a weak opposition whose election campaign is based on interpersonal violence against the current government,” she added. “Fair and free elections, as well as structural reforms, would constitute the second phase of the revolution. “

Regardless of Sunday’s results, the situation in Armenia will take time to resolve. Some predict post-election clashes or court challenges over the results, while others predict possible coup attempts. At the very least, then, the country’s political class will have to find a new language to unite a society so divided by defeat.

* Some names have been changed to protect their identity.

Source link

]]> 0
US hails Turkey’s “clear commitment” to keep Kabul airport Thu, 17 Jun 2021 18:13:00 +0000

The United States on Thursday welcomed Turkey’s promise to secure Kabul airport after the departure of US forces, saying the presidents of the two countries agreed at the NATO summit to sort out logistics.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his US counterpart Joe Biden – who met in Brussels on Monday after tensions between NATO allies – had a “detailed discussion” on the fate of the airport, Jake Sullivan said, the US national security adviser.

The two leaders “agreed that they would work together to make this happen,” Sullivan told reporters.

Erdoğan said Turkey needed “certain forms of support” that Biden agreed to, he said.

“The two of them tasked teams with just working out the final details. But the leadership’s clear commitment was established that Turkey would play a leading role in securing Hamid Karzai International Airport,” he said. Sullivan said.

Biden ordered the withdrawal of all American forces from Afghanistan by September 11, the 20th anniversary of the United States’ longest war, believing that nothing more can be done.

Even US officials have acknowledged their concern over the Kabul government’s ability to withstand a possible Taliban offensive – and the airport is seen as crucial for stability.

Turkey, as a predominantly Muslim nation but also a member of NATO, has played a key role in Afghanistan.

With efforts to resolve the dispute over Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems, which led Washington to impose sanctions on the Turkish arms industry last year, the plan he airport may offer a rare opportunity to build goodwill.

The two countries also disagree over US support for the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist organization, the YPG, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a US lawsuit against a Turkish state bank.

Ankara first offered to guard and manage the airport at a NATO meeting in May, when the United States and its partners agreed on a troop withdrawal plan.

After two decades of war, forces from 36 countries involved in NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan are expected to withdraw from the country in coordination with the withdrawal of US troops by September 11.

Source link

]]> 0
NATO to invest in C2 for strategic pivot: China rises as Alliance threatens – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense Tue, 15 Jun 2021 19:01:26 +0000

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

WASHINGTON: NATO will increase its collective funding pool for Alliance-wide command and control, said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Yesterday’s deal comes at a time when the United States is pressuring its allies to support its emerging strategy of network-centric all-round operations in a global war with Russia and China.

“Increased common funding will allow us to do more command and control together, more exercises, better preparation, invest in critical infrastructure and many other things,” he told Defense Writers this morning. Group.

In the summit press release published yesterday, the 30 NATO heads of state meeting in Brussels have agreed to increase NATO’s “pooled funding” from 2023. The additional funding – the amount of which has not been calculated – is designed to support a new “strategic direction” to guide the future of NATO operations and the advanced technologies (such as AI and big data analytics) needed to implement this shift.

NATO pooled funds, which total around 2.5 billion euros (about $ 3 billion) per year, are provided by member countries on the basis of a cost-sharing system based on national income gross, and are spent on collective infrastructure and capabilities – such as airborne early warning – that would be too expensive for any ally to bear. The funds are divided into three separate budget baskets, according to the NATO website: “The civilian budget (operating costs of NATO headquarters), the military budget (costs of the integrated command structure) and the NATO security investment program (military infrastructure and certain capabilities). Additional contributions to common pool-funded efforts, in cash and in-kind, may also be made by like-minded groups of members.

New strategic concept

NATO leaders plan to approve the updated strategic directions at the Madrid summit in 2022, said Stoltenberg, who will lead the effort. While not drawn to the details so as not to anticipate member state discussions, he made it clear that the new approach is needed to reflect an increasingly bellicose Russia and China’s rise to power in as a military power with global ambitions.

“The need to update the strategic concept reflects that the world has changed since the last time we agreed on the strategic concept was in 2010,” he said.

It was the first NATO summit to clearly identify China as a threat to all members. “China’s stated ambitions and assertive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and areas relevant to the security of the alliance,” the summit statement said.

NATO’s agreement to refocus its collective strategy comes as the United States is about to finalize a new concept of joint combat, which aims to overcome the high-tech threats that will arise in conflicts with adversaries. peers. This concept in turn draws heavily on the new DoD Joint Command and Control Strategy (JADC2) for the networking and management of high-speed military operations in the five domains of warfare: land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. The JADC2 strategy was recently approved by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and includes an effort to bring allies into the future meta-network – what military leaders sometimes refer to as combined JADC2.

Russia: from strategic partnership to “difficult relationship”

When the last strategic concept of the alliance was signed, Stoltenberg said: “We were actually hoping to work for a strategic partnership with Russia… this is not the case now. We see a pattern of Russian behavior – aggressive actions against neighbors – so it was [necessary] change the language and the message about Russia.

“Russia continues to violate the values, principles, trust and commitments set forth in agreed documents that underpin NATO-Russia relations,” the summit statement read. “We have suspended all practical civil and military cooperation with Russia, while remaining open to political dialogue. Until Russia demonstrates that it respects international law and its international obligations and responsibilities, there can be no return to “business as usual”.

Nonetheless, Stoltenberg strongly supported the efforts of the Biden administration to restart a more constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia, and the renewed commitment of the United States to nuclear arms control efforts, as measures. risk reduction.

“Even if we don’t believe in this better relationship in the near or foreseeable future, we have to manage a difficult relationship with Russia to deal with the risks,” he said, noting that “when we have more presence military, there is a risk, for example, accidents that can get out of hand.

NATO must also work with Russia on nuclear arms control and therefore the allies “warmly welcome the extension of the new START agreement,” he added. “We, as allies, welcome and support that President Biden will meet with President Putin. … For us, dialogue is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength. Thus, President Biden has a united NATO behind him when he meets President Putin on Wednesday. “

China occupies an important place

While Stoltenberg was careful in his language, he stressed that the new strategic concept must take into account potential threats from Beijing.

“China is not mentioned with a single word in the current strategic concept,” he said. “In [way] or the other, I am absolutely certain that China will be reflected, and the challenges that China poses will be reflected.

That said, he reiterated the language of the summit’s communique on the need for NATO countries to engage with China – a nod to the fact that not all NATO members are at it. comfortable presenting China as an adversary. Nonetheless, it is clear that members of NATO and other European countries are increasingly uncomfortable with what Western leaders see as Beijing’s relentless push to change the international order in its wake. favor.

France and the EU, for example, have launched strategic reviews with a wary eye on China.

A significant symbol of this growing concern, the White House today announced that the United States and the European Union have agreed today in Brussels to suspend the 16-year-old Boeing-Airbus tariff dispute for five years. (Many, but not all, 27 members of the EU are also members of NATO.)

“Today’s announcement resolves a long-standing trade irritant in the US-European relationship,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai told reporters this morning. “Instead of fighting with one of our closest allies, we are finally coming together against a common threat. We have agreed to work together to challenge and counter China’s non-market practices in this sector in specific ways that reflect our standards of fair competition. This includes collaboration on inbound and outbound investment and technology transfer. “

Invest in new technologies

Agreement to boost NATO’s pooled funds was largely boosted by a March 2020 decision Science and Technology Trends 2020-2040: Exploring the Vanguard of S&T report of the Organization for Science and Technology alliance. He identifies eight “Emerging and Disruptive Technologies (EDTs)” that will change the nature of warfare, and which NATO must embrace to stay ahead of threats.

These include artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, and autonomy, all of which are core elements of JADC2. Also included are space technologies, hypersonics, and quantum technologies that will underpin global warfare.

The S&T report explains that over the next 20 years, “four global characteristics can define many key advanced military technologies: ‘smart’, ‘interconnected’, ‘distributed’ and ‘digital’. (Hmm, channel former US Air Force acquisition Czar Will Roper, maybe?)

“Technologies with these characteristics are intended to increase the operational and organizational efficiency of the Alliance through: the development of a knowledge and decision advantage; the exploitation of reliable emerging data sources; increased efficiency of meshing capabilities in all operational areas and power instruments; and, adapt to a future security environment full of inexpensive technologies, distributed and available around the world, ”states the S&T report.

Sensors: replacement of AWACS; Drones

NATO Common Funding currently supports two major programs: the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (NAEW & C Force) and the Alliance’s new (ish) Ground Surveillance System (AGS).

The NAEW & C, which is one of the few fully NATO owned and operated military assets, is based on a fleet of 14 aging Boeing E-3A Airborne Warning & Control Systems (AWACS). The fleet is currently undergoing a billion dollar upgrade, but NATO intends to withdraw the AWACS in 2035.

In 2020, six transatlantic companies and consortia provided concept proposals for a replacement effort – with the alliance considering moving from an aircraft solution to a distributed sensor network, according to a report by her colleague Valerie Insinna. According to the NATO website, the next step is a “new competition” to be launched this year “for a second round of more in-depth industry advice, worth up to 90 million euros” (around 100 million dollars).

The AGS is based on a fleet of five NATO RQ-4D Phoenix remotely piloted aircraft, derived from the US Air Force’s Block 40 Global Hawk.

Reflecting on the difficulty for NATO to make joint purchases, the alliance agreed as early as 1992 that NATO should possess and operate a “comprehensive and integrated ground surveillance capability which would provide the Alliance and its countries members unlimited, unfiltered access to near real-time, interoperable ground surveillance data.

After a number of twists and turns, a group of 15 allies finally decided to purchase the drones and “associated ground command and control stations of European origin”. according to the NATO website. The 15 supporters are: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States. AGS’s initial operational capability was finally declared in February.

Source link

]]> 0
Export control compliance begins with understanding: Mon, 14 Jun 2021 21:30:33 +0000

In the first of a five-part series, this article examines the first step in U.S. export compliance: determining the jurisdiction of an item acquired in the United States.

Why is jurisdiction and subsequent classification (think item identification) important? By acquiring US technology, you are obligated to adhere to US export controls for the life of the product; which means that approval is required for all subsequent transfers and end uses (including disposal).

Failure to properly determine jurisdiction upon acquisition will be compounded for all future export-related decisions.

The jurisdiction dictates the controlling agency, the registration requirement, licensing and brokerage responsibilities, and any applicable license exemptions / exceptions. US sanctions imposed for export control violations can include economic and embargo sanctions as well as the risk to individuals of imprisonment and fines.

There are two main agencies responsible for regulating US exports. These are the Defense Trade Controls Directorate (DDTC) within the US Department of State and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) within the US Department of Commerce.

The DDTC implements the Arms Export Control Act that governs the export of military goods and technology on the United States Ammunition List (USML) through the administration of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). In 2009, then-President Obama led a broad interagency review of export controls that culminated in the Export Control Reform Act (2018) (ECRA) and the refinement of USML to only articles considered to be essential to national security. This initiative was billed as “building a taller fence around a smaller yard”, reflecting DDTC’s broad licensing powers but its narrow scope of control.

Defense items that do not meet this standard as well as dual-use items (i.e. that can be used in military or civilian applications) are recorded in the Commercial Checklist (CCL) and controlled by the BIS. The CCL is regulated by ECRA and administered by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

The first step in determining the jurisdiction and classification of products begins with a thorough understanding of the capabilities and end uses of the product or service. This will allow you to undertake a court order review assessment that sequentially examines whether the item is screened under USML, not specifically listed (i.e. listed) but captured in a “specially designed” for military purposes, or if it is submitted to the CCL of the AEOI. The DDTC provides an online tool to assist you in this decision-making process that guides you through classification under USML or directs you to exit and access the CCL Order of Review decision tool.

Fortunately, ECRA has dramatically improved the definitions of USML categories, so that “aircraft” which were previously described as “specifically designed, modified or equipped for military purposes” are now divided into functional categories including bombers, fighters, drones, etc. In ECRA parlance, this was intended to create a “clear line” between USML and CCL jurisdiction.

The identification of your article on the USML then denotes its classification in one of the 21 categories. If an item is to be inspected on the CDC, its classification reflects its category, product group and type of inspection in a five-digit Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). Ultimately, if self-determination is not possible and there is still doubt, you can submit a product jurisdiction determination request to the DDTC or a classification request to the BIS using their online portals.

Recently there has been a debate about the competence of firearms and parts produced in 3D. The DDTC specified that these articles were subject to the control of the USML, effectively prohibiting their free sale on the Internet and probably the proliferation of these weapons in the wrong hands. This underscores the importance of having correct commodity jurisdiction, as the first step in ensuring your compliance with US export controls.

Note: Debbie Richardson is a Senior Consultant at Goal Group.

Source link

]]> 0
British support for Israel helps maintain unbearable status quo | Rafeef Ziadah Sun, 13 Jun 2021 17:29:00 +0000

I Often tell my first year politics students that the study of politics is the study of power. And what we saw last month first and foremost is the blatant power disparity between Israel and the Palestinians.

When Palestinians in Gaza and around the world celebrated the news of a ceasefire with a sigh of relief, many commentators hailed it as a return to calm. For Palestinians, however, “calm” means a status quo of occupation, blockade and repression.

In fact, it can be said that the real nature of this conflict is what is happening Between periodic escalations – the constant grind of life under apartheid. Israeli power over the Palestinians is not just military, and it is not only maintained by force; it is backed by international support. The importance of this support becomes evident during the Israeli military offensives – last month the United States voluntarily obstructed a UN Security Council statement on Gaza to gain more time for Israel’s bombing campaign – but the key elements of this international support are coherent.

The most substantial diplomatic and financial support comes from the United States – $ 3.8 billion (£ 2.7 billion) each year, most of which goes to military aid and goes to the US arms industry. International government support for Israel has continued even as Israeli political and military leaders have been accused of serious violations of international law and the illegal use of force – abuses serious enough to warrant a international criminal court investigation.

The UK has also given Israel its full support. While Britain has a particular legacy in the conflict, as a former colonial power in historic Palestine, support continues today with a flourishing arms trade between the two states. Export permits approved for UK arms sales to Israel cover components for small arms, ammunition, night vision technology and intelligence.

The UK also imports Israeli-made weapons. For example, in 2016, Israel’s leading arms producer Elbit, together with Thales UK, completed delivery of most of the 54 Watchkeeper drones under a £ 800million contract. Between 2018 and 2020, the UK Ministry of Defense purchased £ 46million in military equipment of Elbit. Such weapons are marketed as “combat tested” – demonstrating how daily violence against Palestinians fuels a profitable industry with international reach.

Recent research has revealed that British-made military components and equipment were used by Israeli forces in last month’s airstrikes on Gaza, despite government claims about strict controls on British arms exports. The Israeli F-35 fighter jets which are used to bomb the densely populated territory have components from a multitude of UK suppliers including BAE Systems, GE Aviation, Martin-Baker, Selex, Cobham, Ultra Electronics, UTC Actuation Systems and Rolls-Royce.

According to Campaign against the arms trade, between 2016 and 2020, the UK issued one-time individual export licenses for arms sales to Israel worth £ 400 million. This is a significant increase from the £ 67million in licenses from 2011 to 2015.

Last month in Leicester, activists occupied the roof of UAV Tactical Systems, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems. Elbit Systems UK has nine production sites and offices across the country. The Leicester factory manufactures the Hermes drone which was used by the IDF in Gaza. Activists managed to halt production for several days before another protest started against an Elbit factory in Oldham.

These actions show how much Britain is linked to the military might of Israel. In harmless buildings hidden in industrial estates in England, one of Israel’s leading private arms companies operates freely, with no consequence to how its weapons are used in Palestine or elsewhere.

The preeminent British bulldozer company JCB was one of three British companies listed by the UN as complicit in the construction of illegal settlements and the demolition of Palestinian homes. JCB is currently being “reviewed” by the UK government to determine whether its due diligence process complies with human rights guidelines set by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

While Israel presents itself as a small state acting simply in self-defense, it is in effect waging a decades-long military occupation, denying Palestinian refugees the right to return and continuing to displace hundreds of families. It has one of the most powerful armies in the world, aided and encouraged by the support of international powers. That is why the Palestinians have called on people of conscience around the world to protest such blatant complicity with Israel’s violations of human rights and international law.

UK based organizations such as War against desire and Campaign against the arms trade called for an end to military exports to Israel and a review of arms sales to the UK. This is an important step in challenging the unequivocal support Israel receives in the form of military aid as it continues to violate Palestinian rights on a daily basis. When MK Zarah Sultana held up photos of Palestinian children killed in the latest assault on Gaza and asked Boris Johnson directly if British-made weapons were used in the bombing of Gaza, he did not deny it. But he quickly sidelined the issue with a series of platitudes about Britain’s support for a two-state solution.

Endless talk in favor of the two-state solution rings hollow as the US, UK and EU help Israel create facts on the ground that made it functionally impossible – including construction illegal settlements in progress, confiscation of land, displacement, restrictions on Palestinian movements and incarceration of thousands of Palestinians. Hidden behind the smoke screen of “quiet diplomacy”, these states continue to grow. undermine Palestinian attempts to hold Israel to account; Boris Johnson, for example, opposed the International Criminal Court’s investigation into atrocities in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

In the face of this, the Palestinians can only point out the hypocrisy as they continue to protest. The general strike called on May 18 by all Palestinians was a heartwarming moment of unity, breaking down barriers imposed by roadblocks and military walls. Palestinians also rely on the power of ordinary people around the world ready to speak out and challenge the complicity of their own governments in the maintenance of this conflict. Protests around the world, in many capitals and small towns – and statements of solidarity from unions, artists and academics – attest to the fact that more and more people are beginning to understand that the status quo is untenable.

Some may choose to look away after Gaza, Jerusalem, Lydd (Lod) and Haifa no longer make the headlines. But the Palestinians do not have that option. Ending the arms trade with Israel is a crucial step in unmasking the illusion of “calm” that obscures the continued oppression of the Palestinians, and in honestly confronting Britain’s role in upholding this brutal status quo.

Rafeef Ziadah is Lecturer in Comparative Middle Eastern Politics at Soas University in London

Source link

]]> 0
BakerHostetler catches Wilson Sonsini Trade Pro Fri, 11 Jun 2021 22:04:00 +0000

Law360 (June 11, 2021, 6:04 p.m. EDT) – BakerHostetler has hired an attorney for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC who is skilled in export controls, economic sanctions and foreign investment matters and has significant government experience in trade enforcement actions, according to a firm announcement.

Melissa Mannino joined BakerHostetler’s international trade and national security team as an associate on June 3. In her new role, she will continue to guide companies through national security-related trade regulations and guide clients in investment matters before the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. .

The move was motivated by a number of reasons, including the firm’s commitment to customer service and …

Stay one step ahead

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You need to know what’s going on with customers, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to stay an expert and beat the competition.

  • Access to case data in articles (numbers, filings, courts, nature of prosecution, etc.)
  • Access to attached documents such as briefs, petitions, complaints, decisions, requests, etc.
  • Create personalized alerts for specific case articles and topics and more!


Source link

]]> 0
“Extraordinary times, extraordinary measures”: American approach to defeat the pandemic Fri, 11 Jun 2021 04:16:00 +0000

A healthcare worker prepares a vaccination against Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles, California, United States, Jan. 7, 2021. REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson / File Photo

The United States will continue to push for a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments even as it and other wealthy countries in the Group of Seven dramatically increase vaccine donations to the poorest countries. poorer.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Thursday the Biden administration was working on multiple fronts to end the pandemic.

“Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures,” Tai said at a virtual town hall for union members hosted by the professional federation AFL-CIO.

The effort included donations of 80 million doses of vaccine by the end of June, additional donations of 500 million doses announced Thursday by President Joe Biden, and negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to secure a Limited waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights for vaccines, she said.

“And that may take time, given the complexity of the issues involved, but our goal remains to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Tai said, adding that the pandemic would not be over so long. that it would not be contained everywhere.

Biden’s plan to donate an additional 500 million doses – a key part of the G7’s plan for $ 1 billion in donations – has raised questions about whether Washington could abandon its support for an intellectual property waiver at the WTO.

Germany, Britain and some other allies of the United States oppose the waiver, as well as the American business community.

But officials in the Biden administration say the waiver will help boost global production of coronavirus vaccines.

Biden said on Thursday that the crisis, like the previous AIDS epidemic, demands a global response and that not stopping the pandemic would dampen global growth and could increase instability in some countries.

“We will continue to manufacture doses, to give doses, to receive” jabs “- as they say here in the United Kingdom – in the weapons, until the world has conquered this virus, he said. -he declares.

Sean Flynn, an intellectual property expert at American University Washington, said he expects the WTO to reach an agreement on a waiver at a ministerial meeting later this year.

He praised the United States’ “ideological flexibility” to seek both a waiver and measures to increase vaccine donations, and said the new viral mutations underscored the need to produce vaccines by more. than the few players in rich countries.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that around 20 low-income countries had vaccinated only 1% of their population. “America is better off in a richer, more vaccinated world than a poorer, unvaccinated world,” she said.

The pharmaceutical industry argues that companies have invested their own funds to develop vaccines and relinquishing their intellectual property rights will jeopardize this work in the future.

Robert Grant, senior director of international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center, said there was “no evidence” that waiving intellectual property rights would boost vaccine production.

“The problem is that countries all over the world are just starting to say, ‘Well, we’re not going to implement or enforce intellectual property laws,’ he said, adding that the result would be a chaotic patchwork of laws that would “undermine” the justification for investing in these places for years.

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source link

]]> 0
New York lawmakers decide to open gun industry to liability lawsuits Wed, 09 Jun 2021 22:46:00 +0000

If promulgated by the governor, New York State would be the first state to pave the way for civil lawsuits against stakeholders in the firearms industry.

The law says that industry stakeholders may be held liable for the illegal or “unreasonable” sale, manufacture, distribution, importation or marketing of firearms which cause harm to the public as a “public nuisance”.

It prohibits fraudulent marketing and requires players in the firearms industry to take action to prevent the theft and illegal or unreasonable sales of firearms.

The law explicitly authorizes the state attorney general and the legal adviser of local municipalities to prosecute them for violations of these provisions.

Private citizens could also sue under the new law if they suffered damage “as a result of the acts or omissions of a member of the gun industry,” he said.

The controversial federal of 2005 Law on the Protection of Legal Trade in Arms (PLCAA), which grants sweeping immunity to firearm manufacturers and dealers when crimes are committed with their products, will not obstruct this New York state law, according to State Senator Zellnor Myrie who sponsored the bill.

The New York bill takes advantage of federal language which specifically allows lawsuits against manufacturers or dealers who “have knowingly violated any federal or state law applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was an immediate cause of the injury for which relief is sought. “

The invoice has yet to be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office for signature.

It is not known if Cuomo plans to sign the bill. The governor’s office did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

State lawmakers are cracking down on gun trafficking and illegal gun purchases as crime continues to rise in New York City.

Shooting incidents in New York City increased 73% last month from May 2020, according to the latest NYPD Crime Statistics report, and overall crime in the city increased 22% in May compared to the same month last year.

Myrie said the current surveillance was not enough, and said the law could push the gun industry to adopt tougher safeguards against illegal purchases and trafficking in weapons.

“Litigation is never the first choice, but should be available in cases where there is insufficient oversight,” Myrie told CNN.

“One in 40 black boys will die of gun violence in their lifetime. Meanwhile, profits in the gun industry are reaching record highs. These companies are not located in the communities where their products are produced. are misused, and they are currently insulated from any liability for these consequences. “

The Newtown Action Alliance (NAA), a gun control advocacy group that includes family members who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, praised New York lawmakers , calling the news “unbelievable” in a Tweeter Wednesday.
“We encourage other states to pass bills to remove the legal shield from the gun industry in order to give families affected by gun violence their days in court,” he said. NAA wrote.

Source link

]]> 0