In a dramatic about-face, the US is considering increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan by up to one thousand in 2015, several sources told Reuters. The plans follow President Obama’s secret order to widen the US military’s role in Afghanistan.
Finland’s leader Sauli Niinisto says his country, which has traditionally steered a course between Russia and the West, should not join NATO, despite the Ukraine crisis and calls from other Finnish politicians.
As US-led NATO forces get the green light for conducting military operations beyond the 2014 deadline, Kabul has reportedly lifted the ban on controversial night raids in the ongoing battle against Taliban insurgents.
A ‘temporary’ deployment of US troops in Poland and the Baltic states has been extended through 2015, a US commander in Europe said. NATO sells its presence as a deterrent to an ‘aggressive Russia’, with Moscow countering that it only escalates tension.
Germany's FM, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has said he is against Ukraine joining NATO. In an interview with Der Spiegel, he said he considers “that it is possible for NATO to have a partnership with Ukraine, but not membership.”
Two Russian strategic bombers flew near the US territory of Guam last week shortly after Russia’s defense minister announced flight patrols of the nation’s long-range nuclear-capable aircraft over international airspace near North America.
The Swedish military has confirmed a “Russian” aircraft that entered Swedish airspace on Saturday was actually French. The Expressen newspaper had falsely reported a Russian plane was "a couple of kilometers on the wrong side of the border.”
Following Kiev’s repeated claims of Russian “invasion”, without backing them up with evidence, the West has stopped giving the Ukrainian government unconditional support, Charles Shoebridge, a security analyst, told RT.