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16 Feb 18. Pakistan to send troops to Saudi Arabia to train and advise. Pakistan is sending troops to ally Saudi Arabia on a “training and advise mission”, the military said, three years after it decided against sending soldiers to join the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. The exact role the troops will play was unclear, but a statement from the army’s press wing on Thursday stressed they “will not be employed outside” the kingdom. Pakistan’s retired army chief, General Raheel Sharif, commands the new Saudi-led Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism, though it was not immediately clear whether the new troops would participate in that coalition. Saudi Arabia had asked fellow Sunni-majority Pakistan to provide ships, aircraft and troops for the Yemen campaign to stem the influence of Shi‘ite Iran in what appears to be proxy war between the Gulf’s two dominant powers. Pakistan’s parliament voted to remain neutral to avoid being pulled into a sectarian regional power struggle, in part because the country shares a border with Iran and has a sizeable Shi‘ite minority. Pakistani military analyst retired Brigadier Shaukat Qadir said talks involving sending troops to Saudi Arabia had been ongoing for some time. “Now, apparently, for whatever reason, the decision has been taken,” he said. There are already about 750-800 Pakistani servicemen in Saudi Arabia, in part to guard Islamic holy sites, but they are not combat troops. (Source: Reuters)
16 Feb 18. Report: Sri Lankan defence expenditure to reach $2bn by 2023.
Sri Lanka’s defence spending is anticipated to reach $2bn by 2023, witnessing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.71% over the next five years, according to a report by Strategic Defence Intelligence (SDI).
Titled ‘Future of the Sri Lankan Defense Industry – Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2023’, the report provides insights of the Sri Lankan defence industry.
The defence budget reached $1.9bn in 2018, recording a CAGR of -1.35% during the historic period.
Post-war rehabilitation, the threat of the re-emergence of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) affiliates, and disturbed relationship with India have driven the military expenditure during the period.
As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), Sri Lanka’s missile spending is expected to average 1.8% during the five years, compared to an average of 2.4% registered during the historic period.
The allocation of capital spending is expected to fall to an average of 8.4% during the forecast period, compared to the average of 12.1% during the historic period.
Acquisition of advanced defence equipment and rising focus on locally built defence capabilities are the primary reasons for the decline.
Over the forecast period, revenue expenditure is expected to rise to an average of 91.6%, the report added.
Sri Lanka’s homeland security spending is expected to reach $790m in 2023, representing a CAGR of 3.72% during the forecast period.
Military imports are also anticipated to rise between 2019 and 2023.
The country is encouraging collaborations and joint training programmes to support native manufacturing companies in addition to enhancing technological know-how. (Source: army-technology.com)
15 Feb 18. China Will Soon Have Air Power Rivalling the West’s. There is no question which country gets the starring role in “The Military Balance”, the latest annual review of the world’s armed forces by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a London-based think-tank. Amid renewed jostling between the world’s great powers, it is the pace of military modernisation in China that stands out.
China’s president, Xi Jinping, wants to be able to challenge America’s military might in the western Pacific. He is making big progress. China’s once blo