02 Dec 16. Philippines looks to accelerate military procurement. The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has introduced measures to accelerate the procurement of military equipment, a DND official has confirmed to IHS Jane’s. The initiatives are intended to overcome the significant delays that the DND has experienced in some major programmes in recent years. These have included the Philippine Navy’s (PN’s) recently concluded deal to procure light frigates from South Korea, an outstanding Philippine Army requirement for a shore-based missile system and 155mm howitzers, and Philippine Air Force (PAF) projects to procure long-range patrol aircraft and close-air support aircraft.
The DND official said two primary initiatives are being pursued by the DND to accelerate defence procurement. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
02 Dec 16. UN strengthens measures against North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile activities. The UN Security Council has voted to toughen sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to the Asian country’s nuclear test conducted in September.
The unanimously adopted resolution 2321 places a cap on the amount of coal DPRK can export every year.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the resolution as ‘the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions regime ever against that country’.
According to the resolution, North Korea cannot export more than 7.5 million metric tonnes of coal to all member states annually and its sales should not exceed $400m, beginning 1 January 2017.
The resolution also requires each member state that procures coal from the country to report the aggregate amount procured monthly.
It bans North Korea from conducting nuclear tests and using ballistic missile technology.
The council also prohibited Pyongyang from exporting copper, nickel, silver and zinc, new helicopters and vessels, as well as statues.
Ban Ki-moon further added: “The time taken to reach agreement on this resolution vividly illustrates the complex nature of the challenge.
“We must assume that, with each test or launch, DPRK continues to make technological advances in its pursuit of a military nuclear capability.
“The increase in and nature of these activities pose an ever growing threat to regional security and the global non-proliferation regime.”
Through the resolution, the 15-nation body is taking additional measures to restrict DPRK’s hard currency revenues, as well as the activities of the country’s diplomats and other officials.
All member states will also suspend scientific and technical cooperation with persons or groups officially sponsored by or representing DPRK, except for medical exchanges.
01 Dec 16. Pentagon Details Progress for Mosul; Third Axis at City’s ‘Doorstep.’ Iraqi forces are making significant progress in isolating Mosul, as part of efforts to liberate the northern Iraqi city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Defense Department’s press operations chief told reporters at the Pentagon today.
Iraqi forces have been approaching the city from the east, the southeast and the north, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said, noting forces from two axes have already entered Mosul.
“The third, the northern axis, they’re now … essentially on the doorstep of Mosul city as well,” he said. “So you’ll see very soon here there will be three axes that are now inside of Mosul proper.”
Additionally, a group largely made up of Popular Mobilization Forces, along with Iraqi security forces, have retaken Tal Afar airfield. The forces have cut off a highway west of Tal Afar, Highway 47, the main artery connecting Mosul and Tal Afar all the way to Syria, Davis explained.
“This is significant,” he said. “This essentially means now that Mosul, everything east of this point, is isolated.”
Previously, there was free communication along Highway 1 and Highway 47 to connect Mosul with the rest of ISIL-controll