Thursday, 18 April 2019
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We mark on the next page the passing of those who have served this country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome.

USA00000IMG 00000 BURST20190107130637518 COVERThe late American academician, and CIA consultant, Professor Chalmers Johnson wrote in 2001, "'Blowback' is a CIA term first used in March 1954 in a recently declassified report on the 1953 operation to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences..."

The "unintended consequences" of the 1953 coup d'état to restore the Shah to power was the 1979 Iranian Revolution and transformation of Iran from Western ally to Western adversary, writes Joseph E. Fallon

"Blowback" as short hand for the unintended and unwanted consequences of a state's action may be applied to Beijing's ongoing policy toward the Uyghurs of Xinxiang. In its pursuit of political stability in Xinxiang, which is half the size of India, Beijing is undermining the political stability of the Chinese state. In enforcing "sinicization", as defined by Mandarin North China, under the mantra of "national unity", it is sowing seeds of division across China. In combating "terrorism", Beijing is becoming the "terrorist"; confirming the maxim of the American cartoon philosopher, Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

nickwattsIMG 20170907 0924504Marking its 60th year of publication, the Military Balance, published by the London based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) was launched at the Munich Security Conference. As the MoD in London considers how its Modernising Defence Plan (MDP) is to be implemented, this event gave a very timely reminder that developments around the world have an impact on the environment in which the UK government might expect its forces to operate. The multipolar nature of the current strategic environment is reflected by the competition between the US & China, and that between China & Russia. This competition is evidenced by the rise of modern technological platforms and sensors, eroding the wests supposed technical edge, reports Nick watts, U K Defence Forum Deputy Director General.

memorial2 nWe mark the passing of those who have served their country. Contributions for colleagues and comrades welcome

Network Rail would like to identify and attract ex-Military Veterans into a diverse range of job roles across their business and promote the opportunity for ex-Military Veterans to set up a profile on the Network Rail site which will enable candidates to benefit from receiving job alerts. Within their profile, it is also important for candidates to highlight that they are an ex-Military Veteran, to ensure Network Rail can identify their link with the Armed Forces, and also to stipulate the locations they can travel to (Network Rail offer up to 90 minutes subsidised travel). Here are the links we've been asked to publicise : 

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/careers/ex-forces/  and https://uk.linkedin.com/in/leanne-wood-networkrail

Lieven passport photoThis year saw the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, in which some 16 million Europeans died, two great European countries were destroyed, and others crippled. This year may also be seen by future historians as the last year of the period between the cold wars, when after 29 years of relative quiet, the world's major powers once again moved into positions of deep and structural mutual hostility, writes Anatol Lieven.


The First World War also engendered the dreadful scourges of Communism and Nazism, and thereby led to the Second World War, which very nearly finished off European civilisation. As a result of these catastrophes, almost all of the political and cultural elites that led their countries into war in 1914 were swept away, and in the Russian and Austrian cases, destroyed. Historians differ concerning the precise balance of causes and of blame for the disaster of 1914, but on one thing all are agreed: nothing that the great powers could conceivably have gained from going to war remotely compared to what they risked losing.

memorial2 nOn the next page we mark the passing of those who have served this country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome.

MoDIMG 20181218 1521345 2The New Year's Honours list included 118 military and 49 civilian personel, listed on the next page.

SentinelIMG 20181218 1521495Gavin Williamson the Secretary of State for Defence managed a small triumph in delivering his statement on the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) writes Sentinel, Our Man at the North Door. His statement was based on three themes: Modernise, Mobilise and Transform. These represent the way in which the MOD needs to move beyond the 2015 SDSR, which must seem like a long time ago. The inertia inherent in any large Whitehall department cannot act as a drag on the country's armed forces, when potential adversaries, unfettered by the inconvenience of democratic accountability, seek to steal a march on the west.

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