Tag Archives: Military

The US is adding 500 troops to Germany, despite Trump’s promises | Instant News


BERLIN (AP) – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Tuesday that he is expanding the US military presence in Germany by 500 troops and has stopped planning large-scale troop reductions ordered by the Trump administration.

“This planned increase in US personnel underscores our commitment to Germany and the entire NATO alliance,” Austin said in a vital match to the Trump administration’s repeated complaints that Germany is a weak partner in defense and security.

Austin made the announcement following talks with German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on his first visit to Europe since becoming head of the Pentagon in January.

Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomed the announcement as a “strong signal” of healthy US-German relations.

They also discussed President Joe Biden’s pending decision on whether to withdraw completely from Afghanistan by May 1, a deadline the Trump administration promised to Taliban militants. Germany is an important part of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan.

Austin told a joint press conference with Kramp-Karrenbauer that an additional 500 US troops would be stationed permanently in Germany’s Wiesbaden area at the beginning of this fall.

“These forces will strengthen deterrence and defense in Europe. They will enhance our existing capabilities to prevent conflict, and, if necessary, fight and win, “Austin said in his remarks.

“This move will also create more space, more cyberspace, and more electronic warfare capabilities in Europe,” he added, and he said it would “greatly enhance our ability to increase power right away to defend our allies.”

Last year, President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of 12,000 troops from Germany in retaliation for what he considers Germany’s refusal to spend more on its own defense. Austin suspended that move shortly after taking office. He said the decision on troop numbers would be made as part of a comprehensive review of the US military presence around the world, including in Europe.

Austin’s announcement on Tuesday is the first concrete indication he cannot implement Trump’s decisions, including moving the headquarters of US European Command from Germany to Belgium.

The US currently has about 35,000 troops in Germany.

Asked by a reporter whether the decision to add 500 troops meant Washington would not carry out Trump’s move, Austin said the Pentagon had “stopped planning” for troop cuts.

The German minister said he got the word from Biden that “there will not be a troop reduction as previously planned.”

“Today I received the delightful announcement and assurance from Secretary Austin that, in exchange, 500 more will be stationed here,” he said. “That’s how it should be between good friends and partners – you give each other your word and stick to it.”

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Associated Press writer Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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The Carl Vinson VA Center plans a fifth meal prize | National news | Instant News


DUBLIN – Carl Vinson VA Medical Center has announced a joint event with USDA Farmers to Families to provide food for local veterans.

A feeding event is scheduled for Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm at building 34/35 on the Dublin VAMC campus. Donations will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

“Amid this pandemic, many families are struggling harder than ever to provide for their families,” Medical Center Director David L. Whitmer, said in a press release. “It warms my heart to see the community come together to provide for those in need.”

This will be the fifth meal prize organized by Carl Vinson VA Medical Center and sponsored by USDA’s Farmers to Families. In the first four food prizes, about 1,000 boxes of food were distributed to veterans in need.

“We are very blessed that USDA Farmers to Families provide us with a wide variety of foodstuffs to provide to our veterans,” said US Air Force Veteran and Chief of Volunteer Service Keith Griffin.

Due to COVID and to maintain social distancing, Tuesday’s giveaway will be a drive-through event to ensure the safety of attendees and staff. Veterans must enter the Dublin VAMC course from Highway 80, Veterans Boulevard. VA staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide direction.

The recipient must show proof of veteran status, such as a veteran KTP, retired military ID, or Veteran Health ID issued by the VA to receive donations. Eligible veterans will also be asked to complete the USDA Farmers to Families short form for their records.

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The Carl Vinson VA Center plans a fifth meal prize | | Instant News


DUBLIN – Carl Vinson VA Medical Center has announced a joint event with USDA Farmers to Families to provide food for local veterans.

A feeding event is scheduled for Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm at building 34/35 on the Dublin VAMC campus. Donations will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

“Amid this pandemic, many families are struggling harder than ever to provide for their families,” Medical Center Director David L. Whitmer, said in a press release. “It warms my heart to see the community come together to provide for those in need.”

This will be the fifth meal prize organized by Carl Vinson VA Medical Center and sponsored by USDA’s Farmers to Families. In the first four food prizes, about 1,000 boxes of food were distributed to veterans in need.

“We are very blessed that USDA Farmers to Families provide us with a wide variety of foodstuffs to provide to our veterans,” said US Air Force Veteran and Chief of Volunteer Service Keith Griffin.

Due to COVID and to maintain social distancing, Tuesday’s giveaway will be a drive-through event to ensure the safety of attendees and staff. Veterans must enter the Dublin VAMC course from Highway 80, Veterans Boulevard. VA staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide direction.

The recipient must show proof of veteran status, such as a veteran KTP, retired military ID, or Veteran Health ID issued by the VA to receive donations. Eligible veterans will also be asked to complete the USDA Farmers to Families short form for their records.

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Myanmar’s military executed 19 people as Australia joined calls to release political prisoners | Instant News


Nineteen people have been sentenced to death in Myanmar for killing a fellow military captain, said military-owned TV station Myawaddy, the first public sentence announced since the February 1 coup and the crackdown on protesters.

The report said the killings took place on March 27 in the Okkalapa North district of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Martial law has been imposed in the district, allowing military courts to hand down sentences.

The military ruler who overthrew the elected government said his campaign of protest against his rule was waning because people wanted peace and would hold elections in two years, the first time frame given for a return to democracy.

Troops fired rifle grenades at anti-coup protesters in the town of Bago, near Yangon, witnesses and news reports said.

At least 10 people were killed and their bodies piled inside the pagoda, they said.

Myanmar Now News and Mawkun, an online news magazine, said at least 20 people were killed and many injured.

Nearly 50 children have been killed since the February coup.(

Reuters

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Junta spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun told a press conference in the capital, Naypyitaw, that the country was back to normal and that government ministries and banks would soon be fully operational.

More than 600 people have been killed by security forces cracking down on protests against the coup, according to an activist group. The country came to a standstill due to protests and widespread strikes against military rule.

“The reason for reducing the protests is because of the cooperation of people who want peace, which we value,” said General Zaw Min Tun.

“We ask people to cooperate with the security forces and help them.”

He said the military had recorded 248 deaths and he denied that automatic weapons had been used. Sixteen policemen were also killed, he said.

An anti-coup protester shows a three-finger salute to the resistance on his hand painted red
Analysts warn that Myanmar may be on the brink of collapse.(

AP

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Foreign ambassadors called for the restoration of democracy

The Political Prisoners Assistance Association (AAPP) activist group said 614 people, including 48 children, had been killed by security forces since the coup, through Thursday evening (local time).

More than 2,800 people were detained, he said.

“We are humbled by their courage and dignity,” said a group of 18 ambassadors in Myanmar about the protesters in a joint statement.

“We stand together to support the hopes and aspirations of all those who believe in a free, just, peaceful and democratic Myanmar. Violence must be stopped, all political prisoners must be released and democracy must be restored.”

The statement was signed by the ambassadors of the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland and several other European countries.

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An Australian couple was released from house arrest in Myanmar.

“Advice from neighboring countries and big countries as well as powerful people in politics, we respect them,” said General Zaw Min Tun.

He also accused members of the National League for Democracy ousted by leader Aung San Suu Kyi of setting fire and said the protest campaign was financed by foreign money, but gave no details.

Suu Kyi and many of her fellow party members have been detained since the coup.

General Zaw Min Tun said reports that some members of the international community did not recognize the military government were “fake news”.

“We cooperate with foreign countries and cooperate with neighboring countries,” the spokesman said.

ASSK supporters line up in Yangon
Anti-coup protesters walk through a market with an image of deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon.(

AP

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Pressure is growing on the UN Security Council to act

The ousted Myanmar politician urged the UN Security Council to take action against the military.

“Our people are ready to pay whatever it costs to regain their rights and freedoms,” said Zin Mar Aung, who has been appointed acting foreign minister for a group of ousted politicians.

He urged council members to apply direct and indirect pressure on the junta.

“Myanmar is on the brink of state failure, state collapse,” Richard Horsey, a senior Myanmar adviser at the International Crisis Group, said at an informal UN meeting, the first public discussion on Myanmar by a council member.

The UN’s special envoy to Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, wanted to visit the country but said she had been rejected by the generals.

He said on Friday he had arrived in Bangkok, the capital of neighboring Thailand.

“I’m sorry the Tatmadaw answered me yesterday because they weren’t ready to accept me,” Schraner Burgener said on Twitter, referring to the Myanmar military.

“I am ready for dialogue. Violence has never resulted in a sustainable, peaceful solution.”

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What’s happening in Myanmar?

Reuters

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Dutton Australia Vows to Work with the US, China to Ensure Peace | Instant News


Photographer: Tracey Nearmy / Getty Images

Newly appointed Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said China’s Global Times newspaper was “half right” in describing him as a hawk, saying he intended to cooperate with the US and other allies in maintaining peace in the region.

“We don’t support the militarization of ports, we don’t support any foreign country trying to exert influence here through cyberspace or other means,” Dutton said Sky News in a television interview on Sunday. “We don’t want to see conflict in our region.”

Dutton first appointed defense minister last week in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Cabinet renovation, which added one additional woman to the bodies of 22 people. In a podcast released on Thursday, US Embassy attorney Michael Goldman told US on going “Strategic planning” with Australia to consider possible joint responses to war on Taiwan.

“We all want to see emerging superpowers like China and existing ones like the US work closely together,” Dutton said. “Obviously China already has long-term ambitions regarding Taiwan, and we want to make sure that there is peace in our region and that we can cooperate with the Chinese Communist Party.”

Over the past few years China has stepped up military exercises around Taiwan at the same time the US is strengthening diplomatic ties. Beijing claims Taiwan as part of its territory, even though the government in Taipei views Taiwan as a de facto sovereign state.

“We have worked very closely with United States of America because they are our most important allies, but we don’t do it in an antagonistic way, we do it in a way to protect our sovereignty and national interests, “said Dutton.

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