military diplomacy

China’s military will take part in an infantry exercise for the first time with Australian and US forces in October, the Pentagon said on Thursday.  The joint exercise will take place in northern Australia and marks another step forward in efforts by Washington and Canberra to bolster relations with China’s People’s Liberation Army, officials said.

India shares traditionally warm ties with Afghanistan. After shunning Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, India become a friend and a strategic partner to the Afghan government. Indian culture, including Bollywood, as its film industry is known, is hugely popular in Afghanistan and India sees an opportunity to win economic influence, boost security, and gain a trade link to Central Asia through Afghanistan.

The Shangri-La Dialogue styles itself as the premier forum for defence diplomacy in Asia.  Institutions and individuals whose primary function is the organised use of force are turned to the business of dialogue and communication. In a region so beset with tensions and rivalry as Asia, defence diplomacy is an important and welcome addition to the international scene.

A deal struck with Taliban militants in Afghanistan to free Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only remaining U.S. prisoner of war, could revive efforts to broker peace talks between the insurgency and the Afghan government, officials in Kabul said.

In spite of ongoing tensions in Ukraine, which have seriously soured relations between Russia and the U.S. & Europe, Moscow has not altogether forgotten the Western Hemisphere. While Lavrov’s trip did not end in any particularly major deals between Moscow and his Latin American hosts, the visit came months after declarations by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that the Russian armed forces require some form of overseas military facilities.

On Monday China and Iran agreed to deepen defense ties, according to Chinese state media. The announcement was made following a meeting between Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Dehqan.

The U.S. and Philippine militaries have launched a large, 10-day, annual military exercise amid increasing tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

So Philippine and American officials formally inked a basing agreement during President Obama’s visit to the archipelago. Rather than reestablish permanent bases, the deal will allow U.S. military units to rotate through three to five Philippine facilities — the details are still being sorted out — and to stage equipment and munitions there for combat and disaster-relief missions. Huzzah!

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