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China's Armed Drones Are Increasingly Doing Battle Across The Middle East
Middle Eastern countries prohibited from purchasing armed drones from the United States are flocking to another increasingly influential seller in the Chinese government, according to a new report from the Associated Press, sales that "are helping expand Chinese influence across a region vital to American security interests."
- Chinese drones are increasingly doing battle in the skies above Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Nigeria, Yemen, Iraq, and the UAE thanks to increasing sales, with more than 30 CH-4 unmanned aerial systems worth $700 million being sold to countries since 2014.
- Chinese arms exports increased by 38% from 2008 to 2012 and from 2013 to 2017, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute data cited by the Associated Press.
- The growth of China's share of the drone market comes thanks to restrictions enacted under President Barack Obama that limited the sales of UAVs to foreign countries due to concerns over rising civilian casualties, a policy President Donald Trump sought to loosen earlier this year.
- Drones are increasingly becoming a fixture of active theaters across the Middle East. In January, Russia attempted to blame the U.S. for a "drone swarm" attack on an airbase in Syria; the following April, a Chinese drone operated by the UAE took out a suspected terrorist leader in Yemen.
- “It’s kind of the wild, wild west when it comes to selling things to other countries," as one aerospace and defense analyst put it in an interview with The Washington Times in July. "[The Chinese] have no problems going in and selling to people we won’t sell to."
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
We salute the Marine scout sniper who snuck up on an enemy completely naked except for a pair of boots
An expert sniper can sneak up on an enemy naked as the day he was born. It's not particularly advised, but one top sharpshooter did exactly that just to prove a point, Marine snipers told Insider.