NATO membership talks stall with Iceland as country thinks about leaving
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes NATO’s top official in Iceland on Tuesday downplayed worries about a potential rift with the small Arctic Council nation, whose leader has expressed interest in quitting the alliance. “In democracies, there are different views and different positions on many things,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg... Read more
ISIS recruiting enough fighters in Somalia to offset losses from U.S. airstrikes
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes Islamic State militants holed up in northern Somalia are recruiting fighters fast enough to offset battlefield losses despite an uptick in U.S. airstrikes in the country, U.S. Africa Command said in a new analysis of the group’s force strength. Since April, AFRICOM has launched... Read more
Kosovo campaign now in its 20th year, Army Secretary wants to better manage rotations
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes The U.S. Army’s top civilian met with troops here Sunday to take the pulse of a peacekeeping campaign now in its 20th year, as allies continue with NATO’s longest-running mission in history. Army Secretary Mark Esper, who met with U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Philip... Read more
EUCOM wants to use U.S. diplomats in mock crisis scenarios to better military exercises
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes U.S. European Command leaders are developing new military war games in coordination with some unconventional partners: American diplomats in Europe. “It provides the reality,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. John P. Healy, who leads EUCOM’s exercises and assessments division. “Before you get to any... Read more
Two ISIS militants killed in strike as U.S. pushes forward in Somalia
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes The U.S. military said it killed two Islamic State fighters Wednesday in Somalia, where there has been an uptick in airstrikes against the militant group in the past month. In recent years, nearly all of U.S. Africa Command airstrikes in Somalia have been directed... Read more
Drone runway in Niger done, but security concerns have delayed takeoffs
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes The U.S. military has finally completed runway work at a new air base in Agadez, Niger, but Air Force officials said Wednesday it will still be several months before flight operations can begin at what is anticipated to be a major intelligence gathering hub... Read more
NATO scrambled fighters to intercept Russian jets, called it a ‘professional’ encounter
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes NATO jets were scrambled twice in two days to intercept Russian aircraft flying along the Baltic coastline toward Moscow’s military hub in Kaliningrad, the British Defense Ministry said Thursday. The quick reaction intercepts were the first for the British detachment that took over the... Read more
Trump warns the EU to not exclude US companies from bidding on European military projects
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes The Trump administration has issued a warning to European Union allies that a decadeslong partnership is at risk if the American defense industry isn’t allowed to compete for contracts on new EU military projects. The EU is pushing an initiative that amounts to “a... Read more
President calls report of sending 120,000 troops in Iranian conflict ‘fake news’, says he’d send more
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes The Pentagon has drafted plans to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event Iran launches an attack on U.S. forces in the region or restarts its nuclear weapons program, the New York Times reported. President Donald Trump dismissed the... Read more
US participates in NATO missile defense drill off Scotland’s coast
John Vandiver Stars and Stripes U.S. and allied warships were slated to begin live-fire drills off the coast of Scotland on Friday as part of an exercise designed to test NATO’s ability to coordinate missile defense during a fight at sea. NATO’s Formidable Shield 2019 exercise is underway with... Read more

John Vandiver

Stars and Stripes

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