Articles and analysis

By David Bowles, Northern Defence Industry

The importance of the defence industry to the economic well-being of the regions should never be underestimated.

It is an industry populated for the most part by dynamic and flexible SMEs who can react quickly and innovate; SMEs that for instance, between them account for at least 10,000 jobs in the north east. It is estimated that at least 50 pence in every defence procurement pound ends up with a UK SME.


by Roger Morgan

In March 2006 the Franco-British Council assessed French and British co-operation on defence, with a special interest in developments since St Malo. The findings were by turns exasperating and encouraging.

The seminar was chaired by (the late) Lord Garden, Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesman in the House of Lords, and Général Rannou, former Chef d'état-major de l'armée de l'air. There were contributions from Gerard Errera, the French Ambassador in London, and Lord Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO and former Secretary of State for Defence.


By George Friedman

This article – reproduced with permission of Strategic Forecasting, Inc. ( discusses the connection between three apparently discrete events.

The al-Askariyah mosque -- a significant Shiite shrine in As Samarra, Iraq -- was bombed, triggering intensifying violence between Shiite and Sunni groups. A group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for attacking a major oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. And a furor broke out in the United States over the proposed purchase, by a government-owned United Arab Emirates (UAE) firm, of a British company that operates a number of important American ports. Apart from the fact that all of these incidents involve Muslims, the stories don't appear to be linked. They are. All three stories are commentaries on three things. First, they are measures of the current state of the U.S.-jihadist war. Second, they are measures of the Bush administration's strategy of splitting the Islamic world against itself, along its natural fault lines, and using that split to contain and control the radical Islamist threat against the United States. And finally, they are the measure of U.S. President George W. Bush's ability to manage public perceptions of his plans and operations.