BFBS Radio Sitrep
NYF and Sony Radio Award winning Sitrep brings you discussion and analysis on defence, foreign policy and the stories affecting the British Forces. Presented by Kate Gerbeau with defence analyst Christopher Lee.

Why does French President Emmanuel Macron think NATO is suffering brain death and that Europe should be more powerful? 

Find out what the two main party leaders are saying about the main defence and security issues on the campaign trail.  We talk to The Times' defence correspondent Lucy Fisher.

And, remembering Lord Bramall -  looking back at a long & distinguished military career from D-Day to Hong Kong and the Falklands War.

 

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Jonathan Eyal, International Director at the Royal United Services Institute, explains why a report into Russian interference with British politics hasn’t been published.

 

Sitrep talks to the former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon as he steps down from political life.

 

It’s 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Sitrep hears from former British Army spy Dave Butler who worked on the BRIXMIS mission which spied on Soviet military activities in East Germany.

 

Plus – BFBS presenter Jamie Gordon gives his account of broadcasting from Berlin during one of the most iconic moments of the 20th Century

Twitter @bfbssitrep

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For years he’s been the world’s most wanted terrorist. Now Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. In this week’s Sitrep, we examine the implications of the death of the IS leader, and what’s likely to happen next with Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics and Professor Michael Clarke, former director-general of the Royal United Services Institute.

After months of political deadlock, Britain is set for a pre-Christmas election. The Times' political Correspondent, Lucy Fisher, looks at whether defence issues will get a mention in a campaign likely to be dominated by Brexit.

Professor Michael Clarke has written a new book how Brexit is creating a new world of security challenges

And a former Army officer explains how he helped track down one of the suspects in the Sergei Skripal poisoning, and explains how much vital intelligence is just out there, waiting to be discovered.

 

Find us @bfbssitrep

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People all over the world are taking to the streets in protest against their governments for different reasons.  Professor Paul Rogers from the University of Bradford explains why this is happening now and what it could mean for the future.

President Trump is pulling America out of the Paris climate change agreement.

Paul Osbourne explains what the Australian newspaper black-out has to do with defence.

Why the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has concerns about the Royal Navy fleet.

And military thinking outside the box with The Wavell Room.

Join the debate on Twitter @bfbssitrep

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President Donald Trump says the crisis which has followed the withdrawal of US troops from Syria is not America's fight.  As Russian forces appear to fill the void left we talk to Mary Dejevsky about why this is a good and bad situation for President Putin. 

Simon Marks gives us the low down on the Republican vote, supported by some Democrats, condemning Trump's decision on Syria and the increasingly incendiary rhetoric.

We talk to Pakistan's High Commissioner in London about the Royal visit to his country.

As David Richmond is announced as head of the newly created Office for Veterans' Affairs, Johnny Mercer explains its remit, funding and long term ambitions.

Follow us @bfbssitrep

 

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Turkish forces are stepping up air strikes and a ground offensive, as their incursion in Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria continues. It follows the withdrawal of US troops, who fought alongside Kurdish forces in north-east Syria against so-called Islamic State.  Former soldier and Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely joins us along with former US intelligence officer Michael Pregent.

The American press are suggesting President Trump is about to bin yet another east west treaty. It's called the Open Skies treaty and it says Russians and Americans should be able to fly over and look over each other's territory and so lesson the chances of building undeclared weapons. Jonathan Eyal joins us.

Pressure mounts on the Prime Minister to announce a Bill protecting veterans of Northern Ireland in the Queen’s Speech. Lord Dannatt, ex Army chief, and Michael Fallon, former defence sec, are among those who have written to The Times.  We speak to the paper's defence correspondent Lucy Fisher.

Join the conversation on Twitter @bfbssitrep

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An RAF pilot has been selected to join Virgin Orbit's small satellite launch programme on secondment

Brexit is four weeks away, so what preparations are being made for any potential civil disobedience and will the military be involved? 

Hiding in plain sight Exercise Iron Viper challenges the art of camouflage in an urban environment.

As the violence in Hong Kong gets worse we speak to Professor Steve Tsang from SOAS at the University of London on what happens next. 

The US has a new top military officer, General Mark Milley takes over as the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

And why is Sweden’s Navy HQ returning to a vast underground fortress designed to withstand a nuclear attack  

Follow us on Twitter @bfbssitrep

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We are joined by Professors Paul Rogers and Michael Clarke to talk the constitution, law and the military after this week's Supreme Court decision.  

Can climate change send us to war?

Forces News has been given exclusive access to a sniper course and Amy Wiltshire has been speaking to one of the them about their job.

And soldiers jumping ship to join the Royal Navy.

Follow us on twitter @bfbssitrep

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Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has praised the military at a Downing Street reception for the Armed Forces. The Iran/Saudi stand off continues but what does this mean for the US we hear from experts Dan Plesch and Mike Evans. 

Two former paratroopers who took the Ministry of Defence to a tribunal were subject to "highly offensive" racial harassment, an employment judge has ruled.  Why is this still happening in the Army?

And Britain's second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales begins sea trials.

Follow us on Twitter @bfbssitrep

 

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This week the First Sea Lord is at DSEI as the MOD announce Babcock will build the new Type 31 frigates.

Police chiefs in Northern Ireland say a bomb in Londonderry was built with the aim of killing police officers.  We talk to the Chair of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland Mark Lindsay.

We are joined by Dr Karin Von Hippel, the Director General of RUSI to talk about the sacking of the US National Security Advisor John Bolton and Fawaz Gerges explains what it means for American foreign policy.

Chris Ryan, the former SAS soldier turned author has a new book out called Black Ops.  It's firmly based on his knowledge of how the regiment operates, so what's life like as member of the elite unit in today's trouble times?

 Follow us on Twitter @bfbssitrep

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This week we are joined by Dr Julian Lewis, Chair of the Commons Defence Committee to discuss defence spending and why the UK needs a full time National Security Advisor.

Christina Lamb, chief foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times talks about the Taliban peace talks and whether they will bring long term peace to Afghanistan.

We're tracking the Adrian Darya 1.  The oil tanker that was seized by Royal Marines off Gibraltar back in July has been hanging around in the Eastern Mediterranean  - what is it waiting for?

Paul Beaver is an aviation expert and we talk to him about the National Audit Office report suggesting military aircrew training is coming up short.

And we remember the start of the Second World War, 80 years ago this week.

Follow us on twitter: @bfbssitrep

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The Prime Minister's decision to temporarily suspend parliament and have a new Queen's Speech means the Chancellor is planning his spending.  Defence analysts Francis Tusa and Professor Michael Clarke discuss whether defence could lose out.

We track the Iranian tanker formerly known as Grace 1.  It's now called Adrian Darya 1 and is trying to find somewhere to refuel in the eastern Mediterranean, but this is more than a story about a ship as Professor Michael Clarke explains. 

What happens at BATUS, the British Army's training unit on the prairie in Canada? Our reporter Sian Grzeszczyk talks to BATUS Commander Colonel Mark Ellwood.

And Churchill established his war rooms in a bunker beneath Whitehall 80 years ago this week. Imperial War Museum Curator James Taylor has some stories from that time.

Presented by James Hirst with Christopher Lee

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Talks between the US and the Taliban on a peace deal in Afghanistan are said to be close to completion — with the White House keen to get American troops home before Donald Trump seeks re-election next year. We hear from a correspondent who’s been talking to the Taliban’s chief negotiator in Qatar.

The latest figures on UK military personnel numbers again show the forces are under their target strength. But the Chief of the Defence Staff has claimed that doesn’t matter, in an age of autonomous and unmanned equipment. We’ll ask whether he’s right.

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson head to the G7 summit this weekend, and the tension with Iran is likely to dominate — we’ll look ahead.

And we’ll ask why Donald Trump was so keen to buy Greenland, and so offended when his bizarre suggested was rejected out of hand.

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On the 14th August 1969 the British Army deployed to Northern Ireland in response to sectarian riots on the streets of Londonderry and Belfast.  Op Banner, as the Army came to call it, was the longest ever continuous operational deployment of troops in the history of the British Armed Forces.

In this programme, 50 years on, you'll hear from:

  • Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence. 
  • General Sir Mike Jackson who served as a Captain with the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment in Londonderry on Bloody Sunday and went on to become Chief of the General Staff.
  • Baron Caine, a former government advisor to the Northern Ireland Office.
  • Richard White, a former Royal Marine who served in Northern Ireland.

Presented by James Hirst with Christopher Lee 

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American and Taliban negotiators have agreed the war in Afghanistan must end, but will it?

Could the tensions in Kashmir really lead to a nuclear war?

We hear from Uganda where Royal Marines are training soldiers for peacekeeping.

How cyber crime is funding North Korean missile tests.

And here's an idea - National Service for cyber defence

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Please also plug listen again/podcast  

In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

The UN hears pleas to intervene in Syria, but why the is the west is seemingly so reluctant to intervene?

As Britain’s stand-off with Iran continues, is there a diplomatic way to end it? 

One week into Boris Johnson’s premiership, what have we learned about his commitment to the forces? And are the repeated comparisons to Winston Churchill really justified?

Plus, as an American teenager wins $3-million playing the video game Fortnite, how the military views gamers as a potential source of new recruits

PROGRAMME TX THURSDAYS at 4:30pm UK TIME on BFBS RADIO 2 and at 6:30pm UK TIME on BFBS & UK Bases

You can listen on BFBS Radio 2 at 1630 (UK time) and at 1830 (UK time) on BFBS (via web & App in the UK and on FM in Scotland, Colchester, Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, Catterick & Blandford Forum).  On Sky Channel 0211.

Alternatively - listen again on-line, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

We have a new Prime Minister and now a new Defence Secretary, so who is Ben Wallace?

The UK wants to put together a European-led maritime protection mission in the Gulf – but what ships are needed and how will it work?

Britain is going to deploy troops to Mali in Africa, but what will they be doing?

And Sitrep’s summer reading list:  delve deep into military history and foreign affairs with Sitrep’s reading list.

PROGRAMME TX THURSDAYS at 4:30pm UK TIME on BFBS RADIO 2 and at 6:30pm UK TIME on BFBS & UK Bases

You can listen on BFBS Radio 2 at 1630 (UK time) and at 1830 (UK time) on BFBS (via web & App in the UK and on FM in Scotland, Colchester, Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, Catterick & Blandford Forum).  On Sky Channel 0211.

Alternatively - listen again on-line, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

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Royal Navy frigate, HMS Montrose has intercepted three Iranian vessels that were trying to block the path of a British oil tanker in the Gulf.  RUSI Director General Dr Karin von Hippel explains what's going on.

The British Ambassador to Washington has resigned after his diplomatic cables were leaked.  What does this mean for future intelligence co-operation between the US and UK?

Our reporter Claire Sadler has been to see what British Troops in South Sudan are doing for the United Nations mission there.

We talk to Lieutenant General Tim Radford who is leaving his role as Commander of NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps to become Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

And why the RAF Benevolent Fund is trying to find veteran airmen and women who've fallen "Off the Radar".

Presented by Kate Gerbeau with BFBS Defence Analyst Christopher Lee.

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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

The controversy surrounding the Royal Marines capturing an oil tanker off Gibraltar.

Hong Kong riots - has the UK gone too far in condemning China?

Putin says it's time the West changed its liberal ideas.

The British Ambassador to the United Nations who wanted to be a fighter pilot.

And why Trump won't let the generals rain on his parade.

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13th June 2019

This week on Sitrep:

No more street-fighting. The RAF tracks down IS to the Iraqi mountains.  Air Commodore Justin Reuter talks to Simon Newton

Why two oil tankers were on fire in the Gulf.

Pressure builds in Sudan.  Michelle Gavin, senior fellow for Africa Studies at the Council for Foreign Relations says the country is on a knife edge.

British Forces lead Exercise Baltic Protector.

And what do the Tory Leader hopefuls think about Defence?  Robert Fox from the London Evening Standard has the low-down. Sitrep is presented by Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee.

 

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In Sitrep with James Hirst and Christopher Lee…

 

As Theresa May prepares to step down — what will her legacy be on defence? We hear from one expert who thinks she was never that interested in the forces, and find out which of the candidates vying to replace her has the best defence pedigree.

 

Before she resigns, Mrs May has to host Donald Trump on his state visit to the UK next week — we head to Washington to find out what’s likely to be on the agenda.

 

Fierce fighting resumes in Syria, as government and Russian forces try to wipe out the last remaining rebel stronghold. We’ll ask why the west appears to have stopped paying attention.

 

And ahead of events next week to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we hear one veteran’s story from the 6th of June 1944.

 

Guests include:

Lucy Fisher, Defence Correspondent of The Times

Professor Michael Clarke, former director of RUSI and Professor Paul Rogers, Dept of Peace Studies, University of Bradford.

 

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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

Why did the Carrier’s Captain have to leave his ship? 

Is Turkey hungry for war with Cyprus?

Should Britain hand back the Chagos (PRO: Chay-gos) Islands?

What are the modern day challenges of UN Peacekeeping operations?

And the essence of being a soldier – the warrant officer’s speech that’s a must-watch for MoD recruiters.

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Former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Dannatt welcomes the Defence Secretary's plans to examine the way historical allegations are handled.

Tensions rise between the Iran and the United States but are they heading towards confrontation? Professor Joshua Landis from the University of Oklahoma explains what's happening and Michael Evans, former Pentagon Correspondent for The Times talks about the mixed messages from the US and UK on the threat level.

US General Michael Garrett explains the how his men will fight in the future.

And the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Israel.  Paul "Dr Eurovision" Jordan talks about the politics surrounding this non-political event

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Why MP Johnny Mercer has withdrawn support for the government over historical allegations in Northern Ireland.

 

Is the special relationship is back on as Pompeo and Hunt have talks in London.

 

Is Iran a threat to the UK and is Libya being ignored?

 

And army boxing, why it’s attracting an online audience.

 

Direct download: 2019-05-09_Sitrep.mp3
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This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

Gavin Williamson has lost his job as Defence Secretary.  He was sacked by the Prime Minister because she believes he was the source of a leak from the National Security Council.

The Chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee Dr Julian Lewis gives his views on Williamson, the new woman in the job Penny Mordaunt and Huawei.

He's joined by Professor Anthony Glees from the University of Buckingham.

And Professor Eric Grove talks discusses the growing naval strength of China and Japan.

 

PROGRAMME TX THURSDAYS at 4:30pm UK TIME on BFBS RADIO 2 and at 6:30pm UK TIME on BFBS & UK Bases

 

You can listen on BFBS Radio 2 at 1630 (UK time) and at 1830 (UK time) on BFBS (via web & App in the UK and on FM in Scotland, Colchester, Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, Catterick & Blandford Forum).  On Sky Channel 0211.

Alternatively - listen again on-line, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

 

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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee…

 

How will Britain stand in NATO after Brexit?

And will NATO get involved in Libya?

Why Trump's veto means the US will continue to back the Saudis in Yemen.

And mine hunting in the Arabian Gulf with the Royal Navy's oldest ship.

 

PROGRAMME TX THURSDAYS at 4:30pm UK TIME on BFBS RADIO 2 and at 6:30pm UK TIME on BFBS & UK Bases

 

You can listen on BFBS Radio 2 at 1630 (UK time) and at 1830 (UK time) on BFBS (via web & App in the UK and on FM in Scotland, Colchester, Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, Catterick & Blandford Forum).  On Sky Channel 0211.

Alternatively - listen again on-line, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

 

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In today’s Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee -

Is India now a super-power?

How London and Moscow are trying to improve relations.

Plus, why do people leave the armed forces?  And what should the Mod do to increase retention

And, how one part of Brexit IS happening on time tomorrow.

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This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

It's 2019 and if you're a woman, you can now apply to do every single job in the British Armed Forces.

We celebrate International Women's Day by hearing from some of the top female voices in defence, including:

  • Dr Karin Von Hippel, Director General of the Royal United Services Institute.
  • Colonel Lucy Giles, President of the Army Selection Board.
  • Madeleine Moon MP, a long-serving member of the House of Commons Defence Committee who says the Ministry of Defence isn't doing enough to recruit more women.
  • Commodore Ellie Ablett MBE, who founded the Naval Servicewomen's Network.
  • Maria Stuttaford who has been studying the impact of the unpaid work done by military wives.

And Sarah Brown, Chair of Theirworld and wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown talks about a forgotten casualty of war; the education of girls.

 

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28th February

This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

President Trump and Kim Jong-un have said no deal this time on nuclear warheads.  We hear from Professor Robert Kelly of Pusan University in South Korea and Professor Michael Stathis from the University of Southern Utah in the USA.

Why has nobody managed to find a solution to the conflict over Kashmir?  Dr Dan Plesch from SOAS at the University of London explains.

The UN's highest court says Britain should end its control of the Chagos Islands, but what about Diego Garcia where the US keeps its B-52 Bombers?

Officer cadets at Sandhurst are trained by the Red Cross.  It's to teach them how to work with humanitarian agencies in conflict zones. Retired Brigadier Ian McLoed has worked for the ICRC for 20 years and explains why this is so important.

And the former soldier who says his optician refused to make a note of his military service on his medical records.  We hear from Hugh Milroy the CEO of Veterans Aid about the confusion over the Armed Forces Covenant.

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21st February

This week on Sitrep with Tim Cooper and Christopher Lee:

Putin has told Moscow's federal assembly that Russia will deploy new weapons and aim them at the west if the US deploys new short and medium-range missiles in Europe.  So what's Putin's game?  We hear from RUSI's Professor Mark Galleotti and writer on Russian affairs Mary Dejevsky.

Simon Marks reports from Washington on President Trump's plans to give US nuclear powered technology to Saudi Arabia, a sworn enemy of Israel.  Professor Paul Rogers from the University of Bradford explains what this could mean.

The UK's signed a new military pact with Oman which will allow Royal Navy ships and submarines to dock in a new port being built there, putting British "East of Suez" plans into action.

And we mark LGBTQ History Month with a look ahead to next week's special programmes on Forces Radio BFBS including an interview with Caroline Paige, the first transgender officer to serve openly in the British Armed Forces.

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This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

Professor Michael Clarke from the new counter-terrorist think tank Co-Jit UK explains why British Intelligence Officers might like to speak to the IS bride who wants to come to the UK.

Forces News reporter Laura Mackin-Isherwood reports from the NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels.

The London Evening Standard's Defence Editor Robert Fox gives his take on the Defence Secretary's "Paper Tiger" speech.

Naval Historian Professor Eric Grove explains why the Defence Secretary wants to send HMS Queen Elizabeth to the South China Sea.

 Dr Julian Lewis talks about his concerns about French involvement in the production of the Type 26 frigate.

And Christopher Lee has a soppy story about Valentine's Day!

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In (today’s) Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

Are Islamic State really defeated in Syria or is it wishful thinking by President Trump?

The UK hosts the Nato’s 70th summit later this year – is it chance to modernise the alliance?

Find out why there are now more Gurkhas joining the British Army than in the past 30 years.

And as we wave goodbye to the Tornado, Sitrep looks at how it will compare to other “iconic” RAF aircraft

That’s all in  Sitrep, Thurs at 6.30 UK time, or listen to the Podcast at any time.

PROGRAMME TX THURSDAYS at 4:30pm UK TIME on BFBS RADIO 2 and at 6:30pm UK TIME on BFBS & UK Bases

You can listen on BFBS Radio 2 at 1630 (UK time) and at 1830 (UK time) on BFBS (via web & App in the UK and on FM in Scotland, Colchester, Salisbury Plain, Aldershot, Catterick & Blandford Forum).  On Sky Channel 0211.

Alternatively - listen again on-line, www.forces.net/sitrep or download the Sitrep Podcast.

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This week on Sitrep with Kate Gerbeau and Christopher Lee:

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood explains why Brexit defence planning is the number one priority at the Ministry of Defence.

Professor Paul Rogers explains the INF treaty and why President Trump is warning the US may pull out.

The new Commander of British Forces in the Falklands, Brigadier Nick Sawyer, gives his first interview and tells Gini Carlin about his plans to improve training there.

RAF Marham is now running on Biofuel - so how does that work?

And new details about work carried out by the Pentagon's top secret UFO research programme with former MOD UFO man Nick Pope.

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What’s behind last weekend’s car bomb in Londonderry?  We speak to Dr Marisa McGlinchey whose forthcoming book "Unfinished Business: The politics of Dissident Irish Republicanism" is out soon.

 

President Trump and North Korea are planning another summit  - but is North Korea still developing nuclear warheads?  Sitrep looks at the meeting from both the US and North Korean perspective with Robert E Kelly, Professor of Political Science at Pusan University in South Korea and Michael Stathis, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern Utah.

 

Michael Stathis also comments on the US shutdown and how it’s affecting defence and security.

 

And Glynn Prysor from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission talks to us about memorials and why they get vandalised.

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17th January edition

 What would a no-deal Brexit mean for defence?

 

Why France and Germany are strengthening their defence and foreign policies with a new Treaty.

 

The US Shutdown - how does it affect US Defence? 

 

Plus what’s the Royal Navy up to in the South China Seas and what was the SAS man doing at a Nairobi Hotel?

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It's out with the old and in with the new for the RAF.  The F-35s are deployment ready while the Tornadoes are being prepared to retire, Aviation Expert Paul Beaver explains the significance.

We speak to Christina Lamb, the Sunday Times Chief Foreign Correspondent, who was recently in South Sudan, about how British soldiers intervened to stop the repeated rape of a group of women there.

What will Turkey do if the US withdraws its forces from Syria? Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace studies at the University of Bradford, explains the impact on the region.

And after Captain Louis Rudd’s successful solo Antarctic trek, Sitrep asks Colonel Neil Wilson, Commander of the Army’s Adventurous Training Group, why adventurous training is so important for the forces.

We also have a tribute to Lord Ashdown.

Did you enjoy the programme?  We’d love it if you left us a review!  Follow us on Twitter: @BFBSSitrep

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