Thursday, 04 June 2020
logo
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.
        



dv-header-dday
     |      View our Twitter page at twitter.com/defenceredbox     |     

EDlogodownloadThe COVID-19 pandemic, which has rocked the world, could prove to be one of those major upheavals capable of changing the face of the planet. Time alone will tell. At the very least, the pandemic raises issues with regard to the principles of solidarity, human dignity, freedom, democracy, rule of law and peace that are the founding values of the European Union.

The measures suggested here are designed to attenuate the impact of economic recession, while at the same time optimising defence and security capacities without encroaching on individual Member State's sovereignty.

Russia has begun crew training for its new S-350 SAM (Surface to Air Missile) system, reports Strategy magazine. S-350 is a mobile, medium range missile system that replaces the S-300PS/PT system which entered service in the early 1980s and the Buk M1/2 which entered service in the 1990s. The S-350 is, in effect, "S-400 Lite". In other words a less expensive SAM system with many S-400 capabilities but not the billion dollar per battery price. S-350 also benefitted from a joint Russia-South Korea effort to develop a new air defense system. That effort eventually fell apart but not before each nation went on their way with valuable tech they had acquired from the other.

TomSpencerIMG 1145In 1979, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) ambushed a British Army convoy at Warrenpoint with two improvised explosive devices (IED), killing 18 servicemen. This represented the British Army's single greatest loss of life throughout its campaign in Northern Ireland (N.I) – the Troubles, writes Tom Spencer. A similar device was also used the same day to murder Lord Mountbatten (a member of the British Royal Family, former senior Royal Navy officer and Chief of the Defence Staff). This paper underlines how the attack required new tactics, techniques and procedures in order to achieve the element of surprise and lethal precision. A pioneering use of remote detonation and potent home-made explosives (HME) had profound security implications. This precipitated an impetus for continuous British electronic IED counter-measures, border securitisation and a shift in strategy. A co-ordinated intelligence regime manifested itself as a war prosecuted through the use of special forces and covert mechanisms in gathering intelligence. These precedents created UK legacy expertise with which to counter insurgency and terrorism.

memorial2 nWe mark the passing of those who have served this nation. Contributions from comrades and families welcome.

After the death of William Clark (below) it is believed that there is now only one survivor of "The Few" from the Battle of Britain - John Hemingway

nickwattsIMG 20170907 0924504Europe's political landscape is in a state of profound flux, one that presents real challenges to those continental nations who see their interests best served by a combination of effective, geopolitically balanced European institutions and a robust transatlantic alliance. This is true for countries like Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, countries notably effective in maintaining a sound balance between these two strategic principals.

The continent faces a plethora of disruptive and divisive dynamics. It is a focal point of Great Power aggression. Russia is using military force to revise European borders, and both Moscow and Beijing are using economic, cyber, and social media to sow discord within and across nations – and to pillage their economic assets. Populist movements, many fueled by Moscow, are undercutting commitment to both the European Union and NATO. On top of all this, economic fragility looms like a dark storm cloud over Europe.

In the future the EU political and economic power will decrease, but also the trans-Atlantic relation can deteriorate. This will affect the role of NATO. In the EU France and Germany will become more influential, if not preponderant, drivers of decisions within that institution. That too will leave the EU more vulnerable to bouts of anti-Americanism and to those who pursue EU "strategic autonomy" to weaken the role of NATO.

sergei suhhankinOn February 28, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that their Northern Fleet (NF) had created an additional Air Defense (Voyska Protivovozdushnoy—PVO) division, ensuring that, "the Northern Sea Route [NSR] is now under steady protection", writes Sergei Sukhankin. He noted that protection of the east–west NSR, which follows Russia's northern coast, as well as "the defence of vital industrial objects and protection of Russia's economic interests in the Arctic zone" is a task jointly performed by the NF, the Russian Airborne Forces (Vozdushno-Desantnye Voyska—VDV), the Aerospace Forces (Vozdushno Kosmicheskikh Sil—VKS) and the Special Operations Forces (SOF). Furthermore, by the end of 2020, the NF "will receive more than 180 pieces of military equipment specifically tailored for the harsh conditions of the Arctic region," which will include, among others, "the K-549 Knyaz Vladimir, a Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, and the Admiral Flota Kasatonov frigate" as well as "four capital ships, submarines and motor ships" .

EDlogodownloadSITREP

All-year Arctic sea ice has been reaching measured minimum levels over the last 20 years. Russia has established and reopened military bases on land, and invested heavily in icebreakers/ice capable ships. Other nations have not made any significant response until very recently. The Northern Sea Route has been open for longer, and greater tonnages have been shipped to and from Asia as a consequence (saving around 10 days sailing time) International organisations exist but there is a juxtaposition of national and international waters. Analysis suggests the presence of substantial deposits of hydrocarbons and minerals under the Arctic Ocean, much currently unreachable. For purposes of reportage, events in 2019 are sub divided into military; commercial and environmental/miscellaneous headings.on the following pages.

USA00000IMG 00000 BURST20190107130637518 COVERIf China is to become a world power, Beijing must first become the dominant power in Asia, writes Joseph E Fallon.

If China is to become the dominant power in Asia, Beijing must first break a maritime containment imposed by the three island chains created by the U.S. during the Cold War.

These "chains" described by Chinese authors as "barriers that China must penetrate to achieve freedom of manoeuvre in the maritime domain" have "become benchmarks that in many ways define the field of play as China's regional maritime power expands."

memorial2 nWe mark the passing of those who served this country, including Wing Cdr Paul Farnes - one of the last 3 known Battle of Britain Fighter Command pilots (Flt Lt William Clark, F.O. John Hemingway).

Contributions from comrades and families welcome.

More Articles...

Latest from the Ministry of Defence

Cookies
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.