Articles and analysis

nickwattsIMG 20170907 0924504The Brexiteers proclaim that the UK has regained its sovereignty, and is now free to strike trade deals around the world. Meanwhile the European Union promotes the idea of its Strategic Autonomy, not constrained by the policies of other powers. Both are right, and wrong, writes Nick Watts. In a globalised world no country, whatever its size is truly autonomous; apart from maybe North Korea and Myanmar. Similarly, a trading nation such as the UK needs partners to trade with; which will mean reliance on open sea lanes and friendly relations with other countries.
How the UK views itself, in the post Brexit world, can be seen in the language used in prime minister Johnson's unveiling of the Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, which was unveiled on 16th March [1]. Johnson repeated some of the lines from his Munich Security Conference speech of 19th February. In this he said: "The starting point of our Integrated Review of foreign, defence and development policy.....is that the success of Global Britain depends on the security of our homeland and the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area."[2] Many commentators have noted that in his remarks, the PM did not specifically refer to the EU, in the context of defence co-operation.

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BBC Persiimage001On Press Freedom Day, this special report for Defence Viewpoints by Kasra Naji, BBC News Persian


It's the looking over one's shoulder to see anyone is following. It's not all the time but more often than I'd like to admit. When leaving the BBC's office in central London, and heading home, I look around for suspicious looking men lurking around. In the underground, I rarely stand close to the edge of the platform. I am paranoid about not sharing my home address. I have asked my child not to put photographs online.

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Statistics can be misleading. In territorial size, Pakistan is the 33rd largest country in the world. In population size, it is the world's 5th largest country and the Muslim world's 2nd largest country. It has the 6th largest, and 15th most powerful, military in the world. It is one of only nine states in the world possessing nuclear weapons. And Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) is rated as one of the top intelligence agencies in the world, writes Joseph E Fallon.

Despite such statistical strengths, Pakistan lacks security. It lacks security because it lacks strategic depth "the distances between the front lines or battle sectors and the combatants' industrial core areas, capital cities, heartlands, and other key centers of population or military production." From Islamabad, its capital, in the east to Peshawar in the west, Pakistan's width is 115 miles. The distance between Islamabad and the Indian border is 60 miles.

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