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MI6 not complicit in torture, says chief

MI6 not complicit in torture, says chief

LONDON — The head of MI6 said on Monday his agents were not involved in torture, amid allegations of British links to the mistreatment of terror suspects held overseas.

John Scarlett, head of the foreign intelligence service, said his officers were committed to human rights and democracy as they protected Britain against terrorism threats.

"Our officers are as committed to the values and the human rights values of liberal democracy as anybody else," Sir John told BBC Radio 4 in comments posted on its website.

"They also have the responsibility of protecting the country against terrorism and these issues need to be debated and understood in that context," he added.

He said there has been "no torture, and there is no complicity with torture".

His comments come as intelligence agencies face allegations of involvement in the questioning of terror suspects in countries such as Pakistan, including supplying questions for other interrogators.

Two senior ministers said on Sunday they could not rule out the possibility that vital anti-terror information had been obtained through the torture of suspects abroad.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Home Secretary Alan Johnson strongly denied allegations of collusion in the abuse of terror suspects overseas.

However, it was impossible to eradicate all risk, they wrote in The Sunday Telegraph, as a panel of MPs warned the government that using information gained through torture could be legally construed as complicity.

There have been increasing calls for an independent inquiry into Downing Street's knowledge about the use of torture on suspects held overseas.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed claims he was tortured during six and a half years in US custody or countries which were involved in the rendition programme of suspected extremists.

Mohamed, a British resident, was released in February without charges and police here last month launched a criminal probe into his claims that agents from MI5 were linked to his torture.

He alleges an MI5 agent provided questions to interrogators who tortured him in Morocco following his arrest in Pakistan in 2002.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights this month urged an independent inquiry, saying it was the only way of restoring public confidence in MI5 and MI6 in the wake of such "extremely serious" allegations.

Scarlett denied that British intelligence services had been compromised by their close relationship with counterparts in the United States.

"Our American allies know that we are our own service, that we are here to work for the British interests and the United Kingdom," he told the BBC radio programme MI6: A Century in Shadows, the first part of which is being broadcast at 9am on Radio 4.

"We're an independent service working to our own laws - nobody else's - and to our own values."

Scarlett will step down as the head of MI6 in November.
 

venom

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Russian Military developments

Russia is cutting its tank force again, from 22,000 to about 6,000. Sixty percent of these 6,000 will be in storage. The remaining 16,000 tanks will be scrapped. Twenty years ago, the situation was quite different. At the end of the Cold War in 1991, Russia had about 53,000 tanks in service (about 40 percent of them relics from the 1950s, or earlier). Over the last two decades, some 30,000 tanks were scrapped. Back in 1991, about half of the tanks were of questionable serviceability and usefulness, but that still left the Russians with 25,000 modern tanks, ready to roll west. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, 80 percent of the five million troops were sent home, and, in the next decade, only a few hundred new tanks were purchased.

The current tank fleet has about 260 T-90s and 1,200 T-80s (a third in storage). These are roughly equal to early model U.S. M-1s. Most of the current Russian tanks are late model T-72s, some of them upgraded with excellent electronics (fire controls systems and thermal sights).

For the last decade, no matter how many tanks the Russians say they had, only a few thousand are ready to roll, and go into combat. In effect, Russia has lost the use of some 90 percent of its tanks since 1991. Back then, nearly all those 53,000 were assigned to a combat division. OK, most of those were reserve divisions, but if most of the reservists showed up in wartime, they would know how to get most of their tanks operational. That reserve system collapsed along with the Soviet Union, so now, the Russians have faced the fact that they can only get about 5,000 tanks operational on short notice. That's a big drop from the 1980s.

The Russian tank fleet is outnumbered by what NATO has available, and is only slightly larger than China's. As much as Russian commanders dislike this, they have finally faced the facts, and decided to retain only as many tanks as they can actually maintain and operate.

Russia Scraps over 40,000 Tanks
 

youngindian

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Russia To Counter Space-Based Missile Systems

11 Aug 2009

MOSCOW - Russia is developing missiles to counter space-based missile systems that could soon be deployed by the United States, Russia's air force commander was quoted as saying Aug. 11.

"We are building new missiles that will be capable of defending not only against air-defense systems but space-based systems," Gen. Alexander Zelin said, quoted by Russian news agencies.The United States and other countries will have deployed such satellite-based missile systems capable of striking any target in Russia by 2030, he said.

"Foreign air forces, above of all the United States, will acquire the capability to deal time-synchronized precision strikes on a global scale at virtually any target on Russia territory," Zelin said.

The threat "is not virtual, but real," he added.

To counter such potential, Russia has begun work on the S-500 surface-to-air missile system that would have ballistic missile tracking capabilities and aim at a range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles), according to defense reports.

"The S-500 system is capable of defeating all manner of ballistic missiles and supersonic air devices," Zelin said.

Moscow vehemently opposes U.S. plans to site a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe and has reacted warily to plans under the previous U.S. administration it claimed had accelerated the militarization of outer space.

Washington insists its shield plan is not directed against Russia but threats from "rogue states" such as Iran.

Last year, when the U.S. military was planning to shoot down a rogue U.S. spy satellite, Russia's defense ministry said the plans looked like a veiled weapons test and an "attempt to move the arms race into space."

Both Russia and China have proposed a new treaty banning the use of weapons in space, but the idea was rejected by the White House.

Russia To Counter Space-Based Missile Systems - Defense News
 

youngindian

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Russia to revamp air-space defenses by 2020 - Air Force chief

MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will create a new generation of air and space defenses to counter any strikes against its territory by 2020 due to a potential foreign threat, the Air Force commander said on Tuesday.

"By 2030...foreign countries, particularly the United States, will be able to deliver coordinated high-precision strikes from air and space against any target on the whole territory of Russia," Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said, referring to the potential for new hypersonic and space-based offensive weapons.

"That is why the main goal of the development of the Russian Air Force until 2020 is to create a new branch of the Armed Forces, which would form the core of the country's air and space defenses to provide a reliable deterrent during peacetime, and repel any military aggression with the use of conventional and nuclear arsenals in a time of war," the general said.

According to Zelin, all Russian Air Force units will be constantly combat-ready by 2020.

"We are planning to conduct a gradual transition of Air Force units to a constant combat-ready status...and accomplish this task by 2020," the commander said.

During this period, the Air Force will bring combat units to full strength, equip them with modernized and new weaponry, and significantly improve combat training of military pilots.

Zelin said under the new concept, air-space defense brigades will be created within Russia's Air Force, and they will be equipped with advanced S-400 and planned S-500 air defense systems.

"In line with the new air-space defense concept, we have already formed a number of brigades, which will be armed with S-400 and S-500 air defense systems," Zelin said at a news conference in Moscow.

The S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2 1/2 times that of Russia's S-300PMU-2.

The system is also believed to be able to destroy stealth aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, and is effective at ranges up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and speeds up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

Russia's Defense Ministry considers the delivery of S-400 air defense missile systems to the Russian Armed Forces a priority, and wants the defense industry to increase the production of these systems despite the current economic crisis.

The fifth-generation S-500 air defense system, which is currently in the blueprint stage and is expected to be rolled out by 2012, would outperform the S-400 as well as the U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system.

"The S-500 system is being developed under a unique design...and will be capable of destroying hypersonic and ballistic targets," the general said.

Meanwhile, the Soviet-era MiG-31 Foxhound supersonic interceptor aircraft will most likely be used as part of the new air-space defense network, as was intended when it was designed.

"We are upgrading this system to be able to accomplish the same [air-space defense] tasks," Zelin said.

According to some sources, Russia has over 280 MiG-31 aircraft in active service and about 100 aircraft in reserve.

Russia to revamp air-space defenses by 2020 - Air Force chief | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire
 

IBRIS

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S-500/S-1000 (Russian Federation), Defensive weapons

Description
There have been unconfirmed reports since 1996 from the Russian Federation that successors to the S-300 (SA-10/-20 'Grumble') and S-300V (SA-12 'Gladiator/Giant') SAM systems are in development by Almaz-Antey. Specifically aimed at defence against short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles with ranges up to 3,500 km and against AEW, AWACS and jamming aircraft, these systems may have the Russian designators S-500 (Samoderzhets) and/or S-1000. The S-500 system is expected to be fully mobile. In addition, a follow-on anti-ballistic missile system to replace ABM-3 around Moscow may also be in development. There is similarity between the possible new anti-ballistic missile system development and the S-500/S-1000 projects, and there may well be common components. It has been expected that the Russians would have prepared a possible ASAT system as well as SAM and ABM system upgrades, although no ASAT tests have been made by Russia for over 20 years. Unconfirmed reports have stated that an air-launched version (Kh-96) is also in design, possibly for use as a boost phase interceptor against ballistic missiles, or as an ASAT. The follow-on system or systems may therefore have several roles. It is possible that the S-500 missiles will be land- and sea-based, and similar in performance to the US THAAD and SM-3 systems, but with additional roles against large high-flying aircraft. Unconfirmed reports in November 2001 and July 2003 stated that China was jointly funding the S-500 and S-1000 programmes. However, an unconfirmed Russian report in 2002 suggested that the S-500 system was being funded by


The complete article appears in the following publication:
Publication Title Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems
Publication date Feb 10, 2009
Section Defensive weapons
Publication synopsis Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems provides you with the most up-to-date open-source analysis of offensive ballistic and cruise missile systems in use or under development, plus similar information for defensive surface-to-air and anti-ballistic missile systems. Weapon entries include details of type, development status and description. Major operating modes, operational status, specifications and contractors, and illustrations for easy reference are also included. In addition, this resource offers an unclassified projects section and the complete text of all the major arms control treaties, descriptions of obsolete weapons, country inventories and contractors' details.
 

pyromaniac

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The way Wars are fought are changing...you no longer need to have a huge army to overwhelm a enemy, a fast moving force that is supported by air power and led by a quick thinking commander can more than hold their own against a numerically superior enemy. With the reduction of their tank forces, the Russians can concentrate on better training and maintenance for the remaining forces..not a bad proposition at all.
 

mig-29

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And most of the tanks must be those old cold war relics there is really no point in maintaining huge tank fleets when modern MBT are quite capable of multiple missions.
May be they can give some of it to us for target practice:D
 

venom

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Star Wars? Russia ready to counter US space threat

MOSCOW: The United States will be able to hit any target in Russia from space by 2030, the commander of Russia's air force said on Tuesday,
announcing that Moscow will develop a new air defense system to avert the threat.

"The development of air and space offensive weapons by foreign states demonstrates that by 2030 radical changes will take place in the exploration of air and space as an integral sphere of armed struggle," Russian news agencies quoted three-star General Alexander Zelin as saying.

"Air forces of foreign states, primarily that of the US, will gain an opportunity to make coordinated, high-precision strikes on a global scale at practically all targets on the territory of the Russian Federation," he said.

He did not specify what kind of strike Russia could be threatened with from space or which other countries might pose a threat.

Russia is negotiating a new nuclear arms deal with the US to replace the 1991 START-1 pact which expires in December - part of an effort by both countries to improve their thorny relationship.

Zelin said that by 2020 Russia would create its own new air and space defense.

"In coordination with all kinds of troops of Russia's armed forces it must be ready to deter potential aggressors at regional and global levels in peaceful times and to rebuff an armed aggression by its entire arsenal of conventional and nuclear weapons during a war," he said.

Zelin said Moscow was now developing a fifth-generation, surface-to-air rocket
, the S-500. "It is able to implement in full the tasks of air and space defense and is capable of engaging ballistic hypersonic targets flying at a speed of 5km per second," Zelin said.

Star Wars? Russia ready to counter US space threat - Europe - World - NEWS - The Times of India
 

bhramos

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Russia Offers Israel Aircraft Cooperation for Joint Project.[may be PAKFA]

Russia Offers Israel Aircraft Cooperation

MOSCOW [MENL] -- Russia has offered to cooperate with Israel in the
production of an enhanced fighter-jet that could end the Jewish state's
dependence on the United States.
Russian industry sources said Israel and Russia have been quietly
discussing the prospect of a strategic defense agreement that would pave the
way for the launch of a joint project to develop an advanced fighter-jet.
The sources said Russia proposed to provide its most advanced platforms
while Israel would install avionics, radar and electronic warfare systems.


Russia Offers Israel Aircraft Cooperation - MiddleEastNewsline
 

bhramos

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hi friends this would be surely, maybe PAKFA.
this would defenatly make PAKFA deadlier then its western couter parts.
so may be Israel will also join campaign for selling PAKFA,
it will be same as the Su-30MKI, will campaign like Su-MKM, MKI, MKV.....
i feel if the deal goes through the India would be the most benefited , so India should Mediate the deal,,..............
 

xebex

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Russia Offers Israel Aircraft Cooperation

MOSCOW [MENL] -- Russia has offered to cooperate with Israel in the
production of an enhanced fighter-jet that could end the Jewish state's
dependence on the United States.
Russian industry sources said Israel and Russia have been quietly
discussing the prospect of a strategic defense agreement that would pave the
way for the launch of a joint project to develop an advanced fighter-jet.
The sources said Russia proposed to provide its most advanced platforms
while Israel would install avionics, radar and electronic warfare systems.


Russia Offers Israel Aircraft Cooperation - MiddleEastNewsline
Sounds like a lethal combination to me. Now i wonder how US going to respond to this.
 

Sabir

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Definitely India has paved the way for it by adding Israeli avionics and other sub-components in Russian Su-30 which gave us Su-30 MKI deadliest of all derivatives of Su-30. Hope India will also be a part of it....
 

A.V.

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i dont think its the pakfa because the pakfa is a joint production between india and russia sell , to 3rd parties would depend on the consent of both parties not that india would have any objections considering the excellent relations between india and israel in defence matters but just i think this would be the next mig production , mig is alreday in advanved stages to draw up the plans for itsd 5 th gen plane to counter sukhoi,s pakfa the supposed plane couls be LMFS, or even mig-35 next block , su35/su30 block 2 mig 29 k or the joint development of pakfa naval but i seripusly think not the present production of pakfa
having said that a though comes do my mind does india have anything to do with this deal or getting the countries close together beacuse we need to think about the similar phalcon deal where india brought both of them together
lets follow in the coming years how it shapes up i am not to optimistic though
 

SATISH

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The Israelis are more interested in the MiG LFI project than the heavier PAKFA. The Russians will not want the Americans to have a glimpse of their most advanced fighter as the Americans did not want to show their F 22. The MiG LFI is based on the X 47. Let us see what will happen in the future. But Israelis tilting towards the Russians will end up in the most advanced aircraft ever produced. The Russian aerodynamics is far more advanced than the American and the Russian fighters eventhough cheaper is as capable as,or more capable than American fighters when it comes to flight performance.
 

bhramos

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the above mentioned clerly says,
Russia will give advance platforms, while Israel provides all advanced Avionics, Radar .......
like Su-30 MKI - an advance Russian platform with some super Israeli avionics.....
 

youngindian

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Georgia fumes as Russia pledges to defend Abkhazia

Putin visits pro-Russian rebel enclave

August 12, 2009

SUKHUMI, Georgia - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged half a billion dollars to defend the breakaway region of Abkhazia on Wednesday during a surprise visit which Georgia said escalated tensions in the Caucasus.


Putin's tour of the enclave underscores Moscow's increased foothold in the rebel regions since Russian troops repelled a Georgian attempt to retake South Ossetia in a five-day war which ended on Aug. 12, 2008.


Tensions have been rising along the de facto borders between the regions and Georgia proper, raising concerns that another conflict could easily erupt.


"Russia has recognized the independence of Abkhazia and intends to, and will, provide all embracing economic, political and, if needed, military support," Putin said at a news conference in the local capital Sukhumi.


"Frankly speaking, Abkhazia needs no other recognition except Russia's," said Putin, who urged Russian businesses to snap up assets in Abkhazia.


Only Nicaragua has followed Russia recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states and the rest of the world views the enclaves as part of Georgia.


Georgia said Putin's trip to the region was a direct challenge that would escalate tensions in the Caucasus, a key route for oil and gas flows from the Caspian Sea.

"Putin's visit to the occupied territory of a sovereign country is yet another provocation," Georgia's Foreign Ministry said.


The trip was "yet another attempt to destabilize the situation and escalate tension in the Caucasus region." it said.


The European Union last month criticized a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to South Ossetia and said it supported Georgia's territorial integrity. The United States has called for Georgia's sovereignty to be respected.

Putin said Russia would spend 15 billion-16 billion roubles ($500 million) in 2010 on strengthening Abkhazia's defences, including shoring up its borders and equipping Russian military bases.

When asked if there would a repeat of last year's war, Putin told Abkhaz reporters: "With today's Georgian leadership, you cannot rule anything out."


Underlining continued tensions, one person was killed and two wounded in a bomb blast in the Abkhaz resort of Gagra. A loud blast was also heard by a Reuters reporter in Sukhumi after Putin had left. It was not clear who was responsible.

Putin's visit underscores Russia's dominance of Georgia's rebel regions, which broke away from Georgia's rule after wars in the early 1990s and have run their own affairs ever since.

Pro-Russian billboards — "Russia and Abkhazia: together for prosperity" — dotted the streets of Sukhumi, which is nestled among vineyards and orchards on the Black Sea coast.

"Putin is our guardian angel," mothers of Abkhaz fighters who were killed in the 1992-93 war chanted after Putin laid flowers at a cenotaph in honour of those who fell in the war.

Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Moscow was keeping 3,636 servicemen in Abkhazia and "a bit less" in South Ossetia. He ruled out any plans to boost the military presence.

Russia will give an additional 10.9 billion roubles to help Abkhazia rebuild its infrastructure and create jobs, Putin said.

Putin later visited a new maternity hospital, where male twins were born half an hour before his arrival. "They will be called Vladimir and Dmitry," said beaming maternity hospital head Liana Achba, referring to Putin and Medvedev.

Georgia fumes as Russia pledges to defend Abkhazia
 

venom

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Detected Russian subs 'failed' their mission:

Two Russian attack submarines are considered to have failed their secret mission in international waters after being detected by the United States and Canada, a report said on Thursday.

"If the United States and Canada really detected the foreign submarines, that means they unmasked them. This represents the failure of their military mission," the Interfax news agency quoted a source close to the matter as saying.

"It's unlikely the submarine crew will be congratulated under the circumstances," the source said.

"One of the markers of the crew's successful completion of a military mission on board a nuclear-powered submarine is the secrecy of the undertaking."

Interfax gave no further details over the source's identity.

Canadian aircraft used to hunting Soviet submarines during the Cold War are now tracking the two Russian attack subs as they moved north after being detected last week off the US coast, an official said Wednesday.

"They're in international waters" in the North Atlantic, a spokesman for Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay, told AFP. "They're allowed to be there. But our job is to ensure that our coastal perimeter and waters are respected."

The Pentagon last week said one of the two Russian nuclear-powered Akula class vessels had been parked in international waters some 200 miles (320 kilometers) off the US coast. The exact location of the other was unclear.

US officials said their presence was not cause for concern and they posed no threat to the United States.

The episode, however, echoed the cat-and-mouse maneuvers of the Soviet and US militaries during the Cold War when Moscow and Washington routinely used submarines to gather intelligence and track each other's fleet movements.

Detected Russian subs 'failed' their mission: report
 

ahmedsid

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Wow, this is news! I mean, the Cat and Mouse is going on at full swing! Wish we had more info regarding how the Akulas were detected and what Detected them. We will be getting our Akula and Pakistan has P3s, info can come in handy!
 

sayareakd

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The Pentagon last week said one of the two Russian nuclear-powered Akula class vessels had been parked in international waters some 200 miles (320 kilometers) off the US coast. The exact location of the other was unclear.
:bye: :canada::usa:
 

icecoolben

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The indian ATV arihant is also the akula Design. So we have study is ordeal carefully and evolve specific operating doctrines. And what india is leasing is the nerpa not the other.
 

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