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The latest news on Defense from Business Insider

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    Leave Brexit supporters

    Although far removed from the chaos that is going on in Europe and the UK, the effects of the Brexit vote will have a ripple effect in the MENA region.

    Gone are the days in which the British Empire had great sway over distant lands, but in the modern, globalized world, a mere tremor can send shockwaves through the global economy. The effects of the Brexit vote and Britain’s withdrawal from the EU have yet to be estimated, and it is unknown what positive and negative effects Brexit will have on the rest of the world over time.

    However, one can only speculate the likely implications in the short and long term on different regions in the world.

    The Middle East is no exception to this. Although not directly influenced and far removed from the chaos that is going on in Europe and the UK, the effects of the Brexit vote will have a ripple effect in the region.

    With the migrant crisis and the Syrian Civil War having no end in sight, it is only possibly to predict that Brexit will have an effect on foreign policy towards the Middle East and the economic and trade relations going in and out.

    The internal dynamics of Middle Eastern states will not be profoundly affected, but like all things in the globalised world, Brexit will have an effect on the changing dynamics of the region.

    Here are four possible effects of Brexit on the Middle East:

    A weaker, more inward-looking Europe

    The Brexit vote has highlighted the fragility of the EU, and there is a strong possibility that the economic and political union may disintegrate. The refugee and Greek crisis have demonstrated that the EU is no longer the behemoth and visionary project it once was.

    The EU has a significant presence in the MENA region, and its funding initiatives have allowed for necessary aid and development in areas such as women’s health, environmental projects, and environmental sustainability through its European External Action Service (EEAS).

    smuggler greece syrian refugees

    Adding to this has been the EU’s ability to use its soft power to bring states to the negotiating table and act as an interlocutor in the Israeli-Palestinian and Syrian conflicts.

    A weaker and more inward-looking Europe will see less involvement in the Middle East as it battles with its own problems and tries to save what is left of the union. Due to the erosion of its capacity to project soft power, the EU’s ability to promote its values of the rule of law and democracy (through dangling carrots like membership) will no longer be appealing to MENA states.

    Protecting human rights, the plight of refugees and minorities will haplessly fall victim to realpolitik (as has been demonstrated recently with the EU-Turkey deal). The EU will be a very different actor in the Middle East as it seeks to strike bargains with authoritarian figures in maintaining border security and stability while paying lip service to its values and ideals.

    More interventionist stance in Middle Eastern affairs by the UK

    The United Kingdom has always engaged in its own foreign policy in the MENA region, but the spectre of colonialism casts a heavy shadow. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will see a more pragmatic and self-interested approach to its dealing with Middle Eastern states.

    As the UK focuses on developing its newfound freedom regarding its economy, short term interests will take precedence over longer-term strategies in the region. Britain’s interests in fighting terrorism and promoting UK business will be dealt with before finding solutions for the peace process, the Syrian crisis and other regional conflicts.

    Men look for survivors under the rubble of a damaged building after an airstrike on Aleppo's rebel held Kadi Askar area, Syria July 8, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

    This combined with a weaker EU will see the UK play a more dominant but selective role in the region. The UK will enhance its existing trade deals with critical states in the Gulf, and the Middle East will remain important for trade, which comes to around $18bn worth of exports alone between the MENA region and the UK each year.

    Increased volatility in MENA markets; boost in trade and investment

    The Brexit result shocked the market and surprised many pundits. Initial gains were made in emerging markets in the Middle East. However, the increased political uncertainty attributed to a lack of leadership in guiding a post-Brexit Britain will mean that markets in the Middle East will continue to be hit hard.

    Emerging markets such as Turkey will feel the pinch of oil prices start to increase with possible currency depreciation if unorthodox economic practices continue. Adding to this, Turkey’s export volume will be affected in the medium term, particularly if the EU cannot promote further political and economic stability.

    In the Gulf countries, Brexit offers more opportunities in terms of trade and investment for the UK. The Middle East remains a primary source of foreign investment, particularly in the commercial real estate market.

    A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo

    However, foreign investment will be timid if more conservative forces push for isolationist policies concerning trade and investment, such as a change in expatriate buyers laws, crackdowns on offshore companies, and hikes in property taxes. This could inevitably lead to Gulf money moving to more mature markets in Asia and North America.

    The rise of different alliance networks and regional organizations

    A more inward EU and self-interested UK could inevitably see the rise of other regional institutions and alliance networks. This could lead to a greater role for other global powers such as China (who has a strong economic presence in the region) develop further strategic and political alliances in the MENA region.

    Regional organizations such as the GCC could develop stronger security and economic architecture in the Middle East, providing a larger role for regional actors in combatting the melee of security dilemmas and economic issues. However, current political differences may hamper any possible cooperation efforts in the future. 

    Overall, Brexit will have a profound effect globally and most certainly in the Middle East. The dynamics of the international economy have been challenged, and many states and leaders will reassess their relationship with Europe and the UK.

    There will be much soul-searching and insecurity in all markets in the months to come, as the Middle East and the global economy deal with a post-Brexit world.

    SEE ALSO: ISIS just announced that its 'minister of war,' a 'star pupil' of US special-forces training, was killed

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MIDDLE EAST EXPERT: These are the biggest misconceptions about the region


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    F-22 raptor thermal image

    The above image was posted by the National Police Air Service helicopter serving the South West of England.

    It’s a screenshot from the thermal camera used by the EC-135 of the NPAS, based at Filton Aerodrome, west of Swindon, and shows one of the US Air Force F-22 Raptor jets that was deployed to RAF Fairford to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo airshow, on the ground, at RAF Fairford, UK.

    The photo is somehow funny, as it depicts the stealth 5th generation jet more or less as it would look like in a combat flight simulator. The photo is also interesting because the IR camera caught the parked Raptor’s heat signature more or less in the same way an infra-red search and track (IRST) systems would perform passive detection of a radar evading plane.

    In fact, F-22s and other stealth planes have literally no (or extremely little) radar cross-section (RCS) but they do have an IR signature. This means that they can be vulnerable to small, fast non-stealthy planes that feature low observable coatings and using their IRST sensors, hi-speed computers and interferometry, to geo-locate enemy low observability (LO) aircraft.

    F22 Raptor Taxi

    Indeed, there are certain scenarios in which IRST and other tactics could greatly reduce the advantage provided by radar invisibility and this is one of the reasons why USAF has fielded IRST pods to Aggressors F-16s in the latest Red Flags.

    This type of system, also carried by F-15E Strike Eagles, and equipping some other modern combat planes, including the Euro-canard Eurofighter Typhoon or Dassault Rafale, lets the aggressor passively look for the IR signature of the enemy stealth fighter.

    According to some pilots who have fought against the F-22, the IRST can be extremely useful to detect “large and hot stealth targets” like the F-22 (or the even hotter F-35) during mock aerial engagements at distances up to 50 km. Anyway, that’s another story.

    For the moment enjoy a cool and unusual shot of the Raptor, that has been one of the highlights of this year’s RIAT.

    SEE ALSO: Saab just unveiled its attempt to outdo the F-35

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch newly released footage of the F-35B taking off, hovering, and landing vertically


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    Retired DEA agent and "Deal" author Mike Vigil spent roughly 20 years undercover in Mexico and Colombia. Vigil argues that GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border will not stop drug cartels from sending drugs into the United States.

    Produced by Eames Yates

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    world war ii color

    The 1930s and 1940s were a time of upheaval for the US and the world at large.

    Reeling from the start of the Great Depression in 1929, the world soon faced a greater disaster with World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945. Though the US did not enter into the war officially until after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the global war still affected the country.

    The following photos, from the US Library of Congress, give us a rare glimpse of life in the US during World War II in color. They show some of the amazing changes that the war helped usher into the US, such as women in the workforce and the widespread adoption of aerial and mechanized warfare.

    SEE ALSO: These amazing colorized photographs bring World War I to life

    Mrs. Virginia Davis, a riveter in the assembly and repairs department of the naval air base, supervises Chas. Potter, a National Youth Administration trainee from Michigan, in Corpus Christi, Texas. After eight weeks of training, he will go into the civil service.



    Answering the nation's need for woman-power, Davis made arrangements for the care of her two children during the day and joined her husband at work at the naval air base in Corpus Christi.



    Jesse Rhodes Waller, AOM, third class, tries out a .30-caliber machine gun he has just installed in a US Navy plane at the base in Corpus Christi.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Kurds Kurdish Peshmerga Fighters Mosul Iraq

    For a long time one of ISIS’ fiercest opponents have been asking the US for aid, and after Tuesday they’ll finally be getting it.

    In a historic move, the US has officially agreed to $415 million in military assistance to the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq.

    The Peshmerga forces who will be receiving the aid have long gone without essential supplies during their campaign against ISIS: in June, it was reported that even the Baghdad government had refused to allocate a budget for them — even though they are considered to be a part of Iraq’s defense system.

    In a statement from Al Jazeera, Delawer Haider Hosheet, a Peshmerga sergeant claims, “I have a lot of friends who still have not paid their rent for the last three months of last year. They owe so much money to the grocery shop and the bazaar.”

    This US assistance comes at a crucial time as ISIS territory in Iraq shrinks— in 2015, it decreased by 40% from its maximum expansion. As the battle to reclaim Mosul — Iraq’s second largest city — looms near, the US seems intent on helping all the major parties involved in the final push to rid ISIS of their remaining hub in the country.

    In addition to the 560 US troops that were recently committed to the region, air assets, such as Apache attack helicopters, have been reported to be made available.

    However, the move has been spurned by some critics in Iraq, claiming that there were “under-the-table agreements” between the US and Iraq in order to satisfy the deal.

    According to Al Jazeera though, US officials have rejected the implication and remained adamant that their focus is recapturing ISIS-held territory.

    SEE ALSO: ISIS just announced that its 'minister of war,' a 'star pupil' of US special-forces training, was killed

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The Air Force's A-10 Warthog targets ISIS fighters with this massive gatling gun


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    A selection of photos from some of the biggest news that you might have missed this week.

    SEE ALSO: The military in photos this month

    A Republican Guard pays respects after lowering the French national flag at half-mast at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, the day after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice.



    An electronic board displays "Je suis Nice" in honor of the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack, outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.



    School children offer prayers to pay tribute to the victims of the Bastille Day truck attack, at a school in Ahmedabad, India, July 15, 2016. The placard reads, "Tribute to the people killed in the terror attack in France."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    WASHINGTON— This week Beijing is dealing with its loss in the South China Sea, after a five-judge Hague-based tribunal dismissed China's "nine-dash line" territorial claim.

    On Tuesday, the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a 500-page unanimous ruling in Republic of Philippines v. People's Republic of China, a case brought by the Philippines in 2013.

    The court found that Beijing had violated the Philippines' economic and sovereign rights and concluded there was no legal basis for China's nine-dash line, which encompasses approximately 85% of the South China Sea.

    skitched 9 dash

    And while the ruling is only binding between Beijing and Manila, it does, however, set a legal foundation by determining that the rules of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNLCLOS) take precedence over China's historic claims.

    In short, if there is no "nine-dash line," other territorial claimants in the South China Sea may be inspired to file lawsuits against China if Beijing refuses to compromise on access to the resource-rich waters.

    Territorial claims from Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan, and China make the South China Sea one of the most disputed places on the planet.

    scs skitch

    China, which claims the lion's share of the region, has boycotted prior hearings. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters ahead of the ruling, "We won't accept any" of the court's "so-called materials, no matter what they are."

    China's Defense Ministry echoed in a statement, "No matter what kind of ruling is to be made, Chinese armed forces will firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security, and maritime interests and rights, firmly uphold regional peace and stability, and deal with all kinds of threats and challenges."

    Will the ruling encourage other states? 

    scs bless itOn Tuesday, a panel of legal experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies' sixth annual South China Sea conference commented on the impact of the decision on other claimants.

    "Because it's invalid, will it encourage other states” to push back against China’s claims, Dr. James Kraska, professor of Oceans Law and Policy at the US Naval War College asked, referring to the nine-dash line. "I think so and I hope so," he told Business Insider in a question-and-answer session.

    "I think it's too early for me to predict, but I think we do need to worry about that," Julia Xue, International Law Program Academy senior fellow at Chatham House.

    "It will have enormous impact on future jurisprudence and on the perceived legitimacy of other claims in the South China Sea and around the world," said Gregory Poling, CSIS fellow and director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

    "Vietnam must be very happy, Indonesia too, and perhaps Malaysia less obviously," Jerome Cohen, adjunct senior fellow for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told Reuters.

    "Vietnam and Indonesia can credibly threaten to launch their own arbitrations unless Beijing gives assurances of better behavior and shows a willingness to compromise," he added.

    Indonesia objects to China's inclusion of waters around Natuna being included within its nine-dash line, but has sought to remain neutral in the dispute.

    Reuters contributed to this report.

    SEE ALSO: Tensions in the South China Sea explained in 18 maps

    SEE ALSO: 7 charts show why Beijing won't give up its South China Sea claims without a fight

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The US Navy just flexed its muscles in the world's most contested region


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    Freedom of navigation patrols carried out by foreign navies in the South China Sea could end "in disaster", a senior Chinese admiral has said, a warning to the United States after last week's ruling against Beijing's claims in the area.

    China has refused to recognize the ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague that invalidated its vast territorial claims in the South China Sea and did not take part in the proceedings brought by the Philippines.

    It has reacted angrily to calls by Western countries and Japan for the decision to be adhered to.

    China has repeatedly blamed the United States for stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually.

    China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have rival claims, of which China's is the largest.

    south china seas

    The United States has conducted freedom of navigation patrols close to Chinese-held islands, to Beijing's anger, while China has been bolstering its military presence there.

    Speaking behind closed doors at a forum in Beijing on Saturday evening, Sun Jianguo, an admiral and Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department of the powerful Central Military Commission, said the freedom of navigation issue was bogus and one that certain countries repeatedly hyped up.

    "When has freedom of navigation in the South China Sea ever been affected? It has not, whether in the past or now, and in the future there won't be a problem as long as nobody plays tricks," he said, according to a transcript of his comments seen by Reuters on Monday.

    China is the biggest beneficiary of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and won't let anybody damage it, Sun said.

    Johnson South Reef south china sea csis

    "But China consistently opposes so-called military freedom of navigation which brings with it a military threat, and which challenges and disrespects the international law of the sea," Sun said.

    "This kind of military freedom of navigation is damaging to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and it could even play out in a disastrous way," he added, without elaborating.

    He said the court case at The Hague must be used by China's armed forces to improve its capabilities "so that when push comes to shove, the military can play a decisive role in the last moment to defend our national sovereignty and interests".

    Despite the warnings, China and the United States have been maintaining open lines of communication, with US Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson meeting the head of the Chinese navy, Wu Shengli, in Beijing on Monday.

    us china navy Wu Shengli Admiral John Richardson south china sea

    "I think that you can visit China this time at our invitation, that shows both sides attach great concern to maritime security," Wu told Richardson in brief comments in front of reporters.

    In the meeting, Wu said China would not stop building reefs and islands in the sea, state-owned Xinhua news agency reported, with that construction also part of China's efforts to bolster its claims.

    Separately, China's Maritime Safety Administration said on Monday that an area just off the east of the island province of Hainan would be a no-sail zone from July 19-21 while military drills take place.

    China generally describes its exercises in the South China Sea as routine.

    China's air force also said on its microblog it had recently carried out "normal battle patrols" over the South China Sea involving bombers, spy planes and flying tankers, including over Scarborough Shoal which is disputed with the Philippines.

    Such air patrols would become "a regular practice" in the future, Xinhua reported an air force spokesman as saying.

    SEE ALSO: This one map shows what everyone says is theirs in the South China Sea

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This 'Pokémon GO' knockoff is the most downloaded game in China right now


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    CNN Turk

    Dramatic footage has emerged of police and civilians fighting off Turkish soldiers inside the Istanbul headquarters of CNN Turk during the attempted coup on Friday night.

    The coup-plotters, who ultimately failed, targeted media outlets as they attempted to seize power on Friday night. Armed soldiers infiltrated the offices of both Turkish state-run broadcaster TRT and CNN Turk, attempting to usurp their coverage of the coup and ultimately shut them down.

    At 3:30 am, around 15 members of the rogue military faction, known as the "Peace at Home Council," landed in a helicopter at CNN Turk's headquarters in Istanbul and stormed the offices, forcing employees to leave the building at gunpoint.

    Pro-government protesters soon entered the building and attacked the soldiers, followed shortly afterward by Turkish police.

    The footage below shows the intense moments when the military began losing ground to the police and civilians. The clip starts with a heated exchange and police detaining soldiers, until a flood of civilians enter the room, presumably journalists with CNN Turk, and begin to assault and repel the soldiers.

    Within two hours, the soldiers were apparently detained and CNN Turk was back on air.

    "It does not appear to be a very brilliantly planned or executed event," US Secretary of State John Kerry said of the coup. The uprising lasted just over 24 hours and left 256 people dead and over 1,000 injured.

    Thousands of members of the Turkish armed forces have since been detained by the state on suspicion of involvement, and the former chief of the Turkish air force has reportedly confessed to plotting the coup.

    SEE ALSO: Why Turkish soldiers staged a coup — and ultimately failed

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Turkish lawmakers had an all-out brawl just days after they postponed a meeting due to fighting


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    afp turkey in new raids against suspected coup plotters

    During the attempted coup that rocked Turkey late Friday night, commercial power lines were cut to Incirlik air base, where 2,700 Department of Defense employees, and allegedly about 50 B-61 hydrogen bombs are stationed.

    Commercial power was reportedly cut to the base at 7:30 Saturday morning following the coup — which ultimately failed — and the air space above Incirlik was temporarily closed.

    Turkish Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, Incirlik's commander, and 11 other officers from the base were arrested for their alleged role in the coup.

    Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters on Monday that chain of command had been reestablished at Incirlik, presumably with an acting commander in place.

    A spokesperson for the Pentagon confirmed to Business Insider that commercial power to the air base was still out, but that they were "working with Turkish allies to address the situation."

    The Pentagon spokesperson added that Central Command had only needed to made "minimal adjustments" to continue operations as normal following the attempted coup.

    incirlik air base syria iraq kobani raqqa map

    Aside from the temporary closure of airspace above Incirlik, the Pentagon maintains that the attempted coup had "no impact" on its mission against ISIS, because even when commercial power was cut the air base was powered by backup generators.

    Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that the power issues were inconsequential for the foreseeable future.

    "The concern would be if it were a protracted period of time, then we would potentially have to make adjustments," Cook said.

    An F-15E Strike Eagle sits on the flightline at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Nov. 12, 2015.Incirlik, located 80 miles from Turkey's southern border with Syria, represents one of the most touted and effective staging grounds for US-led coalition air attacks against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

    Turkey approved the US' use of the air base last July amid pressure to contribute more to the global anti-ISIS campaign.

    Despite counter-ISIS operations continuing virtually unaffected, Incirlik apparently houses US nuclear weapons, which is concerning given the recent coup attempt and the two wars Turkey is fighting against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and ISIS.

    The weapons are reportedly protected by a permissive action link, or a coded switch designed to deter unauthorized use of the weapons, but these systems were devised decades ago and could be circumvented.

    From The New Yorker:

    "Although Incirlik probably has more nuclear weapons than any other NATO base, it does not have any American or Turkish aircraft equipped to deliver them. The bombs simply sit at the base, underground, waiting to be used or misused."

    SEE ALSO: Turkey formally requests extradition of Pennsylvania-based cleric accused of inciting coup

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: IAN BREMMER: Turkey’s president wants to emulate Putin — but it’s not going to work


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    The Marine Corps is actively testing a robotic system outfitted with sensors and cameras that can be armed with an M240 machine gun.

    It's called the Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System, and it looks crazy.

    Marine Corps MAARS system robot

    Just last week, infantry Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines were taking the robot out on training patrols at Camp Pendleton. Later this month, they'll head to the Marines' desert training site at 29 Palms, California to fire off plenty of live rounds.

    If it were actually fielded, MAARS would complement the 12-person infantry squad that typically carries small arms, offering up a tracked vehicle that can zone in on targets with a mounted M240B machine gun firing 7.62mm NATO rounds.

    It can carry about 400 rounds, or it can be reconfigured to tote a 40mm grenade launcher instead. The Qinetiq-built robot only hits 7 mph for a top speed (which is fast enough for troops who are walking alongside it) and can run for 8 to 12 hours.

    Of course, it does have some limitations. It's not totally hands-free, since operators need to hand reload it, and it could be stopped by rougher terrain. But MAARS is just one of many technologies the Corps is testing for its Warfighting Laboratory in an effort to field the "Marine Corps of 2025."

    Among other technologies that the Corps is considering are a fully-autonomous ground support vehicle, multiple smaller scale drones, and a precision airborne strike weapon that a grunt can carry in a backpack.

    The MAARS also has a big brother nearly five times its weight that can be outfitted with an M134 minigun.

    SEE ALSO: There could be a wild, sci-fi reason that SoftBank is spending $32 billion to buy mobile chip designer ARM Holdings

    This is the Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System, or MAARS for short. It's an unmanned ground vehicle that can be outfitted with a medium machine gun or a grenade launcher.



    Infantry Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines were testing it out last week to see how it would mesh within their unit and work alongside them.



    They control it with the Tactical Robotic Controller, which lets them see what it sees, and target the bad guys. The TRC can also control a bunch of other gadgets, such as drones and ground sensors.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Gremlin Concept DARPA

    The term "science fiction" has been losing its meaning ever since the US’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started to develop a new drone system.

    Called the “Gremlin” program, these low-cost, reusable unmanned air systems (UAS) have been developed to be retrieved and reused while still in mid-air. Although the concept of reusing drones is not a new one, the program seeks to deploy the drones from one location and then retrieve them from a different one.

    This would effectively enable the military’s massive C-130s to retrieve them in mid-air after a mission, and then allow ground crews to perform maintenance on them so that they would be capable for another one within 24 hours.

    The Gremlin's projected 20-uses would provide huge savings to the military — considering their low-cost factor would make them expendable. Compared to the bulkier and costlier drones in the fleet which are designed to be used for over 10 years, the loss of a Gremlin from inclement weather or being shot down is theoretically negligible.

    Having to lose a few units during a mission seems to be expected by the US military, as they plan on sending them in swarms to retrieve data and intelligence from the drone’s camera and sensors.

    So far the program is in Phase 1, which is to provide a proof-of-concept flight demonstration that includes air recovery of multiple Gremlins. Going forward, researchers also plan on trying to maintain a low-profile to prevent extensive modifications for the existing planes that would be housing them, such as bombers, carriers, fighters, and other fixed-wing aircraft.

    Watch the entire video from DARPAtv:

    SEE ALSO: 15 astounding technologies that DARPA is working on right now

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A 'drone ballet' in Japan is the world's coolest music and light show


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    turkish air force jets

    Turkish F-16 fighter jets scrambled on Wednesday to check reports that missing Turkish coastguard vessels had appeared in Greek waters in the Aegean Sea, Turkish military sources said.

    They gave no further details. Some Turkish military hardware was seized and used in last weekend's failed coup in which more than 230 people were killed.

    Officials have said no military equipment remains unaccounted for.

    Turkey's government and military General Staff say they are fully in control of the situation in the country but tensions remain high as the authorities purge tens of thousands of suspected coup supporters from state institutions, including in the armed forces.

    SEE ALSO: Turkey may impose a nation-wide state of emergency after failed coup

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: IAN BREMMER: Turkey’s president wants to emulate Putin — but it’s not going to work


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    FILE PHOTO - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the 3rd Meeting of Activists in Fisheries under the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang December 29, 2015. KCNA/ via REUTERS/ File Photo

    SEOUL (Reuters) - "Now we'll begin a mathematics review assignment for members of the 27th expeditionary unit of the distance learning university," the woman's voice crackled over the radio.

    "Turn to page 459, question 35; 913, question 55; 135, question 86."

    Isolated North Korea has restarted coded radio broadcasts, presumed to be targeted at its spies, for the first time in 16 years this month, South Korea said on Wednesday.

    The messages, a recording of which was broadcast by South Korean TV channel KBS, were disguised as a mathematics lesson for distance learners and reappeared on North Korean radio station Voice of Korea in the early hours of Friday.

    North and South Korea are still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, and tensions are running high.

    North Korea, which has carried out a string of rocket and nuclear weapons tests in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, said on Wednesday it had conducted a ballistic missile test that simulates strikes against South Korean ports and airfields used by the U.S. military, apparently referring to three missile launches on Tuesday.

    Those missile launches were seen as a show of force a week after South Korea and the United States chose a site in the South to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system to counter threats from the North.

    For Your Spies Only

    The radio messages, also known as numbers stations, work by broadcasting strings of seemingly random numbers over shortwave signals to an agent in the field. The technique, a method of sending one-way secret messages, dates to the French Resistance in World War Two and is still in use by some governments today.

    South Korea jams most North Korean radio frequencies but Pyongyang-based Voice of Korea broadcasts on shortwave signals which can be picked up far beyond the Korean peninsula, and are difficult to jam.

    The receiving agent, armed with a radio and a pen, uses an easily concealed pad with corresponding letters on it to listen to and decrypt the secret message.

    "(North Korean) numbers broadcasts have been on hold for quite some time but have recently resumed, something we think is very regrettable," Jeong Joon-hee, a spokesman for South Korea's unification ministry, told a media briefing on Wednesday.

    It was not clear whether the signals were meant to deceive or deliver genuine instructions.

    "I can't speak to their intentions, but we hope that the North will refrain from an old practice like this and behave in a manner that's conducive to improving South-North ties," Jeong said.

    Seoul has also operated a numbers station, former agents told Reuters in 2013. Officials at the National Intelligence Service were not immediately able to confirm their use.

    South Korea's station is known as "V-24" to amateur radio enthusiasts who have tracked the source of the signal to a location somewhere south of the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas, and has been known to begin with a scratchy rendition of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 8.

    (Additional reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie)

    SEE ALSO: 3 maps that outline North Korea's military might

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here’s how North Korea’s weird internet works


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    Micah Xavier Johnson

    Back-to-back attacks on police in Texas and Louisiana by former military men have touched a nerve among veterans who traditionally share a close bond with law enforcement.

    Veterans and active-duty troops started posting messages on social media almost immediately after the news broke last weekend that a masked ex-Marine had ambushed law enforcement along a busy highway, killing three officers — including a fellow former Marine.

    Seeing one Marine kill another Marine after both had returned home safely from the battlefield in Iraq has been especially painful for the military's smallest branch, which considers service life-long membership among a force whose official motto is: "Semper Fidelis," or "Always Faithful."

    "In the Marine community, we don't believe in 'ex-Marines'. However that is not the case when one decides to break the moral and ethical values we hold dear. The ex-Marine that opened fire on officers is everything we swear to protect our Nation from," Marine Cpl. Eric Trichel wrote on a Facebook page with about 25,000 mostly Marine members.

    In an email to The Associated Press, he emphasized he was not speaking on behalf of the Marine Corps.

    Many veterans fear the service records of the gunmen will feed a false perception that combat veterans are volatile and violent, turning back years of efforts to change such stereotypes.

    The Baton Rouge shooting came less than two weeks after five Dallas police officers were killed in an ambush by an Army Reserve veteran who had served in Afghanistan.

    gavin long

    Gavin Long was based in San Diego with the Marine Corps from 2005 to 2010, according to military records.

    He was deployed in 2008 for about eight months to Iraq as a data network specialist. People in those jobs are technicians dealing with computers and generally do not see combat.

    One of his victims, 41-year-old Matthew Gerald, was a former Marine who enlisted in the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks and also served in Iraq in 2009.

    And the Dallas victims included a Navy veteran who did three tours in Iraq.

    It is not uncommon for military veterans to join police forces and vice versa. Both jobs offer a strong sense of teamwork and reliance on others in life-or-death situations — in platoons and out on patrol.

    Marines in particular carry an almost religious zeal for their branch of the military that they compare to an exclusive brotherhood.

    "Seeing the gunman in Baton Rouge brought a certain stinging embarrassment to something I hold very dear, being a United States Marine," said former Marine Staff Sgt. Chad M. Robichaux, who also worked as a law enforcement deputy for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office, about an hour's drive from Baton Rouge.

    Robichaux said he was proud of the police victims who served in combat zones, so the shooting "tears you both ways." One of the slain Dallas officers was a military contractor who worked in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Robichaux was a Force Recon Marine — the Marine equivalent of a Navy SEAL — and said both gunmen seemed to effectively use the element of surprise in their attacks but that he has seen no evidence they were highly trained killers.

    Marine Corps OCS boot camp

    There also is no evidence that has been made public suggesting either gunmen suffered from post-traumatic stress, said Robichaux, who runs the Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs that helps veterans deal with the syndrome known as PTSD. But he said he wished he had met Long while both were posted in Southern California.

    "There's no excuse for what he did and I'm not sympathizing with him, but he was obviously hurting in some capacity and needed help," he said. "Somebody may have been able to show him a different way."

    The military prides itself on its race relations and its history of opening jobs to blacks long before other institutions. Troops often say their only color is "green."

    Marine veteran Elvin Carey, who is black, said he had no doubts both of the gunmen endured racism in and out of the military.

    Carey, 31, said he also confronted racism in the service, with tension easing in combat but racist comments resuming after he returned to the U.S. The decorated Marine sergeant said he was asked at his first job out of the military if he was a high school dropout and had been in a street gang.

    "I understand his frustration but I'm disgusted by what he did," the Iraq veteran said of Long. "Anywhere you go, for the rest of your life, every Marine is your brother so that's why I feel more ashamed of it."

    SEE ALSO: Dear America, this is how you became obsessed with guns

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    Israeli A-4 Skyhawk

    In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israeli military successfully beat back a two-front invasion by Syria and Egypt. The war lasted only a few weeks, but its implications for air combat continue to reverberate — even helping make the case for ditching the iconic A-10 "Warthog."

    The Yom Kippur War raged October 6-25 in 1973, and the Israeli forces initially suffered severe setbacks. It was a full, combined arms conflict in which tanks, artillery, planes, infantry, and air-defense missiles all had their say.

    But one string of events reaches forward in time from those weeks and threatens the A-10.

    Israel's air force, the Chel Ha'Avir, was able to slow and halt nearly all advances by tanks and other ground forces when it was safe to fly. But when the enemy forces stayed under the air-defense umbrella, Israel's pilots came under heavy attack.

    In one instance, 55 missiles were flying at Israel's pilots in a single, small strip of land occupied by Syrian forces.

    This resulted in Israeli ground forces either quickly losing their air cover to battlefield losses or to pilots becoming so worried about enemy missiles that they couldn't operate properly. In the first three days of fighting, the Chel Ha'Avir lost approximately 50 fighters and fighter-bombers — 14% of the air force's entire frontline combat strength.

    Israeli forces turned the tables with a few brilliant maneuvers. At one point, a pilot realized the enemy was firing too many missiles, so he led his men in quick passes as bait, causing the enemy to expend all its ordnance while downing relatively few planes. The survivors of this risky maneuver were then able to fly with near impunity.

    On another front, troops opened the way for the air force by striking the missile sites with long-range guns. They moved forward of their established safe zones to do so, putting their forces at risk to save the planes above them.

    Israel went on to win the war, allowing NATO and other Western militaries to pat themselves on the back because their tactics and hardware defeated a coalition equipped with Soviet tactics and hardware.

    Israeli A-4

    But for the Chel Ha'Avir and aviation officers around the world, there was a lesson to be parsed out of the data.

    Both the A-4 Skyhawk and the F-4 Phantom flew a high number of sorties against the Syrians, the Egyptians, and their allies. But the Skyhawk suffered a much worse rate of loss than the F-4.

    This was — at least in part — because the F-4 flew faster and higher and could escape surface-to-air missiles and radar-controlled machine guns more easily. Just a year after the A-10's debut flight and over three years before it was introduced to the air fleet, the whole concept of low-and-slow close air support seemed dated.

    The resulting argument, that low-and-slow CAS is too risky, is part of the argument about whether the Air Force should ditch the A-10 Warthog for the fast-moving, stealthy F-35 Lightning II.

    A10 Warthog Flares Air Force decoy heat seeking missiles

    Of course, not everyone agrees that the Yom Kippur War is still a proper example of the close-air-support debate.

    First, the A-10 has spent its entire service life in the post-Yom Kippur War world. While it suffered six losses against the Iraqis during Desert Storm, it has been flying against more advanced air defenses than the A-4s faced in the Yom Kippur War while remaining a lethal force throughout the flight. The A-10 has never needed a safe space.

    Second, while the A-10's speed and preferred altitudes may make it more vulnerable than fast-movers to ground fire, it also makes the jet more capable when firing against ground targets. To modernize the old John A. Shedd saying about ships, "A ground-attack jet at high-altitude may be safe, but that's not what they are designed for."

    F4 take off

    Finally, the Yom Kippur War was a short conflict in which the Chel Ha'Avir had to fly against a numerically superior enemy while that enemy was marching on its capital. This forced commanders to take additional risks, sending everything they had to slow the initial Syrian and Egyptian momentum.

    The US Air Force is much larger and has many more planes at its command. That means it can field more specialized aircraft. F-35s and F-22s can support ground forces near enemy air defenses and go after missile sites and other fighters while A-10s or the proposed arsenal plane attack ground forces from behind the F-22 and F-35 shield.

    This isn't to say that the Air Force is necessarily wrong to divest itself of the A-10 to bolster the F-35. The Warthog can't stay on the battlefield forever. But if the A-10 has served its entire career in the post-Yom Kippur world, it seems like a shallow argument to say it couldn't possibly fight and win for another five or 10 years after nearly 40 successful ones.

    SEE ALSO: 5 reasons why the new F-35 will reinvent aerial combat

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    NOW WATCH: The Air Force's A-10 Warthog targets ISIS fighters with this massive gatling gun


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    The world is becoming an increasingly networked place — with everything from food delivery to banking to local pizza places and education making the move online. 

    All of this connection is making the world a more dynamic, efficient, and accessible place. However, as increasing amounts of personal data are migrated to online, the risks of cyber attacks become ever more severe and ever more common. 

    According to Eastern Kentucky University, there are between 80 and 90 million cybersecurity related instances yearly. Of these instances, approximately 70% of the attacks go completely unnoticed. Luckily, there are a number of simple steps anyone can take for protection from cyber attacks. 

    The following graphic, from  Eastern Kentucky University’s Online Safety Degree program, highlights both the costs of cyber attacks and how to best prepare for them.

     

    SEE ALSO: Report: China likely hacked a US banking regulator

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    NOW WATCH: Here's what happens when you ask top government officials about an ultra-secret cyber weapon


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    NATO has once again come under fire, as Donald Trump has called into question the basic assumption underlying the military alliance. 

    Speaking to The New York Times, Trump said that he would not necessarily extend the security guarantee inherent in NATO's Article 5 to all 28 members of the alliance. Given a hypothetical of Russia attacking the Baltic States, Trump said that he would provide aid contingent upon whether the state had "fulfilled their obligations to us." 

    While the alliance does have its flaws, and Europe could do more to meet their own defense needs, NATO continues to function as a critical institution for worldwide stability, with its assurance of mutual defense as the alliance's bedrock.  

    The following map, taken from NATO, shows the organization's incredible reach: 

    NATO global map

    The blue on the map shows NATO's core, which is structured around the organization's 28 member states. This number will soon expand to 29, as Montenegro is undergoing accession talks. All member states are treaty-bound to come to each other's defense in case they are attacked. 

    Member nations also contribute to a shared, inter-operable military command, as well as sharing information and intelligence. NATO forces are active in a training role in Afghanistan, an antipiracy role off the coast of Somalia, and as a counterterrorism force in the Mediterranean. 

    In addition to NATO members, the organization also has a range of partner countries spanning the globe. The flesh-colored nations are NATO partner nations. These nations share intelligence with NATO, and New Zealand goes as far as contributing forces to NATO operations. 

    And the lime green Partnership for Peace (PFP) partner countries span a wide range of former Soviet nations, the neutral Nordic states, and other non-NATO nations in Europe. PFP is intended to strengthen bilateral relations between NATO and other states in a range of fields from military cooperation to intelligence sharing. Every nation in PFP can choose to contribute as much or as little to NATO as it chooses. 

    Some PFP nations, such as Macedonia and Austria, even contribute personnel to NATO operations. 

    Likewise, the Mediterranean Dialogue is a NATO partnership focused on providing security and sharing intelligence throughout the Mediterranean region. The Istanbul Cooperation Initiative similarly focuses on providing security and intelligence cooperation throughout the Middle East. 

    In March, NATO came under fire from Trump after he called the alliance "obsolete."

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump says NATO is 'obsolete' — here are the stats that suggest he's wrong

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    turkey coup

    The failed coup attempt by elements of the Turkish Armed Forces on July 15 will enable President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to establish himself as an authoritarian ruler in Turkey.

    His priorities in the next few months will be to solidify the loyalty of the Turkish military establishment and complete the constitutional reform necessary to replace Turkey’s parliamentary democracy with an executive presidency, his longstanding goal.

    A post-coup Erdogan is much less likely to submit to American pressure without major returns. Erdogan immediately demanded the extradition of political rival Fethullah Gulen from the US, accusing Gulen of plotting the coup and condemning the US for harboring him. Erdogan will likely deprioritize the fight against ISIS, undermining the counter-ISIS mission in Syria, as he focuses on consolidating power.

    He may even revoke past concessions to the US, including permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik airbase for counter-ISIS operations.

    Erdogan has more dangerous options now that his rule is secure, however. A partnership with al Qaeda could grant him a powerful proxy force to achieve national security objectives without relying on the Turkish Military. American policymakers must recognize the dangerous possibility Erdogan will knowingly transform Turkey into the next Pakistan in pursuit of his own interests.

    Erdogan’s purge will be severe. He declared that the coup attempt was “a gift from God … because this will be a reason to cleanse our army,” in a victory speech on July 17. Turkish security forces immediately arrested over 3,000 soldiers, dozens of colonels, and four high-ranking officers as they reestablished control starting July 16. The subsequent purge has removed approximately one third of all general officers.

    Turkish Supporters are silhouetted against a screen showing President Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government demonstration in Ankara, Turkey, July 17, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

    Erdogan will try the coup leaders and participating rank and file soldiers for treason and approve the reinstitution of the death penalty if passed by Turkish Parliament. He will eliminate political rivals and dissenters and consolidate social control. He is already using the allegation against Gulen to justify a broad crackdown against the judicial establishment and civil society elements allegedly linked to Gulen, including the dismissal and arrest of nearly 3,000 members of the judicial establishment.

    He has also dismissed at least 8,000 police. His consolidation phase will require significant time, attention and resources for the next few months. He must meanwhile balance national security concerns, including domestic threats from ISIS and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), as well as a tenuous détente with Russia.

    syria map

    Erdogan may turn to non-state militants for security solutions while he lacks a strong military force behind him. Non-state militants can either supplement a Turkish military or serve as an interim partner while Erdogan rebuilds. Erdogan provided support to al Qaeda and associated groups in Syria even before the coup. He has allowed senior al Qaeda leaders to operate relatively freely in Turkey, although a small number of Turkish raids have targeted al Qaeda elements. He is also a primary patron of Ahrar al Sham, a Syrian Salafi-jihadi group with close links to al Qaeda. A closer partnership with these groups could enable him to:

    1. Dampen the domestic ISIS threat while purging the military. ISIS continues to use its support networks in Turkey to generate attack nodes targeting Turkish tourist sites. It intends to conduct mass casualty attacks in order to destabilize the Turkish state, similar to its attack on the Ataturk international airport in Istanbul in June. Al Qaeda likely already possesses intelligence regarding the identity and location of ISIS elements in Turkey.

    A partnership between al Qaeda and Erdogan could facilitate intelligence-driven raids to neutralize ISIS attack cells. Al Qaeda can also coopt ISIS members by offering an attractive option for defection as counter-ISIS operations in northern Syria continue. These measures would not eliminate the ISIS threat to Turkey, but could reduce it to a manageable level while Erdogan focuses on other priorities.

    2. Address his Kurdish problem. Erdogan regards the Syrian Kurdish YPG as a primary national security threat because of its links to the PKK, which is waging an active insurgency against the Turkish state. Syrian Salafi-jihadi groups have fought against the YPG in Syria and could be willing to do so again in return for higher levels of Turkish support.

    3. Set conditions in Syria for the rise of a Sunni Islamist government. Erdogan seeks to promote the formation of Sunni Islamist governments in the Middle East in order to legitimize his own rule and reestablish a quasi-imperial sphere of influence. Al Qaeda and its allies already govern large areas in northwestern Syria, setting conditions for an Islamic Emirate in opposition-held terrain in the long term.

    4. Prevent outright regime and Russian victory in Syria. Erdogan will continue to support the war against the Assad regime despiterumors of back channeling over shared opposition to the Syrian Kurdish YPG. Pro-regime forces encircled and besieged Turkish- and US-backed opposition forces in Aleppo City July 17, fulfilling Assad’s promise that “Aleppo will be the graveyard where the dreams and hopes of the butcher Erdogan will be buried.”

    Erdogan also must preclude an outright Russian victory in Syria in order to maintain leverage in the Turkish-Russian relationship.

    5. Retain leverage over the US Erdogan opposes American focus on ISIS in Syria and will continue to use his involvement in the anti-ISIS effort as leverage in negotiations with the US He will also continue to leverage his gatekeeper role in the flow of migrants to Europe. These forms of leverage are significant, but they have not enabled Erdogan to affect American policy in the way he desires. After consolidating his rule, he can and likely will increase the scale to which he utilizes these sources of pressure. He may also seek alternate sources of leverage.

    Al Qaeda Nusra Front

    A partnership with al Qaeda could enable him to disrupt counter-ISIS operations in Syria by attacking the YPG, positioning him as a powerbroker in the anti-ISIS fight independent of the anti-ISIS coalition. It would also inextricably link American success against al Qaeda in Syria to American relations with Turkey, forcing the US to subordinate its strategy against al Qaeda to the requirements to manage its diplomatic relations in Turkey.

    Erdogan can establish closer partnership with al Qaeda through a number of simple steps. He can provide covert support to increase the effectiveness of counter-Assad operations, including increased funding and equipment in addition to intelligence and campaign design. He can ensure freedom of movement for al Qaeda and its allies in Turkey and enable the relocation of formal headquarters into Turkish territory. He has already proposed granting citizenship to Syrian refugees in Turkey, likely in order to counter rising Kurdish birth rates in Turkey by adding millions of Arab citizens to the population.

    Naturalizing Syrian refugees could also enable him to obscure his support to Salafi jihadis in Syria by channeling that support through new Turkish-Syrian citizens. Finally, he can also allow or facilitate new flows of foreign fighters to al Qaeda in Syria.

    These steps would take Erdogan much deeper into a partnership with al Qaeda than his current support to al Qaeda’s war against the Assad regime. A reliance on al Qaeda to accomplish Turkish security objectives, and the resulting freedom of maneuver it would provide to al Qaeda, would transform Turkey into a state sanctuary for terrorism. The scale of the problem could be similar to Pakistani harboring of militants fighting American and allied forces in Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban.

    Jabhat al-Nusra, Nusra Front

    A permanent Turkish safe haven would protect some of al Qaeda’s critical capabilities and critical requirements in Syria from direct targeting, increasing the requirements to destroy the group in Syria. It would also provide an ideal launching point for a future wave of attacks.

    An empowered al Qaeda with a durable safe haven in Turkey will pose an even greater threat to Europe and the American homeland than ISIS in the long term. Al Qaeda prioritizes cultivating local support among Sunni populations in Syria and the Middle East, but intends to conduct spectacular attacks in the West and is developing the capability to do so. The future war against al Qaeda will be more difficult to win even without direct Turkish backing because of how al Qaeda is embedding itself into the local population.

    A partnership with al Qaeda is not the most likely option for Erdogan to take because of its severe implications for NATO and American national security. It is a much more dangerous future scenario for the US than even the loss of Incirlik as a base for anti-ISIS operations, however.'

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during an iftar event in Ankara, Turkey, June 29, 2016.  Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

    American policymakers must make it a priority to prevent this most dangerous future from occurring. A victorious Erdogan poses a difficult challenge for conventional diplomatic instruments. A partnership with al Qaeda would not strictly violate Erdogan’s NATO obligations because the alliance’s mandate does not extend to terrorism. NATO does not have a formal mechanism for ejecting member states, making it difficult to coerce Erdogan by threatening to revoke NATO protections anyway.

    It is unclear that Erodgan would respond to such a threat even if credible. The Foreign Policy Chief of the European Union (EU) stated that the restoration of the death penalty would forfeit Turkey’s chance for EU membership in a similar attempt to constrain Erdogan’s behavior on July 18. He is unlikely to submit.

    The US must abandon presuppositions about how a democratically elected leader will behave in order to explore policy options that engage with Erdogan's calculus. Achieving American objectives in the region – and preventing a more dangerous future from emerging - will require creative thinking about how to incentivize Erdogan to choose policies that favor or do not undermine American interests while serving his own.

    SEE ALSO: Erdogan: Turkey is in a 3 month 'state of emergency'

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    NOW WATCH: IAN BREMMER: Turkey’s president wants to emulate Putin — but it’s not going to work


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    putin

    Turkey was shaken last Friday as a faction of the military tried unsuccessfully to force President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power.

    The coup attempt failed within a day, and Erdogan was quick to use the opportunity to solidify his already increasingly authoritarian rule by implementing a three-month state of emergency, temporarily suspending the European Convention on Human Rights, and removing tens of thousands of employees from military and government positions.

    And as Turkey continues to takes steps toward increasingly illiberal democracy, a big winner of the failed coup is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Anna Borshchevskaya, an Ira Weiner fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, writes in The Hill that the coup attempt will force Erdogan and Putin toward a closer relationship as Turkey moves further away from the West and its demands for human rights and open democracy.

    This budding new relationship is already on display, Borshchevskaya writes, citing Middle East expert Alexander Shumilin, by the fact that Erdogan has accused the coup organizers of also being responsible for the downing of a Russian fighter plane by Turkey in November. That incident caused a precipitous decline in the relations between the two countries, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov telling reporters that the incident seemed like a "planned provocation."

    putin erdoganSo, as Ankara seeks to throw the coup's plotters under the bus for all manner of failed Turkish policy and inner-societal problems, Borshchevskaya notes that Putin will also use this time to better influence Turkey's foreign policy — particularly in Syria.

    Borshchevskaya also translates a statement from Ruslan Pukhov, the director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, given to the Russian publication Kommersant, in which he says Erdogan "will have neither the energy nor resources to help pro-Turkish oppositionists in Syria."

    Essentially, Turkey may be significantly less capable of carrying on its foreign policy opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad after the coup attempt. This could hamper the effectiveness of rebel groups that have relied on Turkey for support and strengthen both Russia and Syria's hand in the region.

    But all in all, the greatest benefit to Putin from the coup will be further instability and strife within a critical NATO ally on the vanguard of the increasingly unstable Middle East.

    SEE ALSO: Why Turkey might pursue a partnership with Al Qaeda

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    NOW WATCH: IAN BREMMER: Turkey’s president wants to emulate Putin — but it’s not going to work


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