Wednesday, 13 November 2019
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EU

Yevhen-MahdaEverything may become an instrument of hybrid warfare. And electoral processes are no exception. It is well-known that Russia interfered in the Ukrainian election in 2004 which finally led to the Orange revolution. The Russian strategy in Ukraine in 2004 failed and back-fired. But it did not stop the further search for methods of election meddling. It took more than 10 years to create a more sophisticated strategy and tactics, as the article on the next page reviews.

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Efforts to set up an EU naval strategy were a "mess" with no co-ordinated planning going on, a roundtable organised by the Security and Defence Agenda (SDA) on 16 March heard. Headline-grabbing reports of piracy off the coast of Somalia may have prompted calls for more EU action but the interests of individual member states take precedence while the presence of national industrial champions means defence procurement remains fragmented in Europe.

There have been piecemeal attempts to co-ordinate European efforts but none have so far added up to a comprehensive naval strategy. "The problem with all of these activities is that they are not part of a collective co-ordinated effort. To be frank, it is a mess," said Rear Admiral Stefan Engdahl, the Swedish Military Representative to the EU and NATO Euro-Atlantic Partnership Military Council.

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Offset the compulsory inward investment imposed on foreign defence suppliers by a purchasing government is tolerated as a feature of the market rather than embraced. Tolerance of offset has become increasingly important over the last ten years. Since 1999, 22 countries have introduced formal offset legislation or policies. The scope of offset obligations is also increasing in terms of both the quota required by the buyer and the range of contractors obligated. This helps to explain why the European Commission (EC) and the US Department of Commerce (DoC) view offset as legally and commercially problematic.

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Down in the weeds is a new series for 2010 which looks at small quoted companies in the defence supply chain. Our first is Scotty Group, selected because the editor is a shareholder who bought them in the glory days when the company was a booming high tech media business. They've hung in, restructured, and now aim primarily at government, military and aviation markets. Maybe one day he'll get his money back......

The company has completed the research and development phase of a PV contract for Eurocopter, which culminated in delivery of three systems to equip two helicopters for flight test and qualification. In June 2009 they secured a contract worth 8.3 million Euros, with deliveries lasting up to 2011.

It is undertaking an upgrade programme for the Personnel Recovery System for Eurocopter's CH-53 GS helicopters. This enables the location of military personnel in the field to be monitored remotely so they can be rescued where necessary. It received a 1 million Euro contract in October.

In September the company started engineering and installation of its aero-certified beyond-line-of-sight communications system for government and civilian use. The $300,000 order was received from Stevens Aviation Inc with whom they had earlier signed a Reseller agreement.

At the same time the company announced a 700,000 Euro order for videoconferencing equipment for the German Armed Forces, which included remote telemedicine support for the German Navy. The first equipment was delivered in October and the order should be complete shortly. A follow on order worth 555,000 Euros was announced on 22 December.

In its last full year the company made a pre tax profit of 328,000 on a turnover of 5,426,000.
Share price over 52 weeks : high 70.5p low 29.5p

Website : http://www.scottygroup.com

 

A new programme of defence co-operation between the UK and France has been announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy today, Tuesday 2 November 2010.

The programme is to be delivered through an overarching Defence Co-operation Treaty, a subordinate treaty relating to a joint nuclear facility, a letter of intent signed by Defence Ministers and a package of joint defence initiatives.

The announcement was made by the two leaders following a summit meeting held in London today.

This co-operation is intended to improve collective defence capability through UK and French forces working more closely together, contributing to more capable and effective forces, and ultimately improving the collective capability of NATO and European Defence.

These measures build on commitments made in the recent Strategic Defence and Security Review to create stronger strategic defence relationships with the UK's main allies whose security interests and military capabilities are closest to our own.

The measures agreed between the UK and France today will include:

jointly developing a Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) as a non-standing bilateral capability able to carry out a range of operations in the future whether acting bilaterally or through NATO, the EU or other coalition arrangements - this concept will be developed over the coming years;

building primarily on maritime task group co-operation around the French carrier Charles de Gaulle - the UK and France will aim to have, by the early 2020s, the ability to deploy a UK-French integrated carrier strike group incorporating assets owned by both countries;

developing joint military doctrine and training programmes;

extending bilateral co-operation on the acquisition of equipment and technologies, for example in unmanned aerial systems, complex weapons, submarine technologies, satellite communications and research and technology;

aligning wherever possible our logistics arrangements - including providing spares and support to the new A400M transport aircraft;

developing a stronger defence industrial and technology base; and

enhancing joint working to defend against emerging security concerns such as cyber security.

Overall, the Defence Co-operation Treaty will enable the strengthening of operational linkages between the French and UK Armed Forces, sharing and pooling of materials and equipment, building of joint facilities, mutual access to defence markets, and increased industrial and technological co-operation.

 

Five years on from adoption of the European Security Strategy, the European Union carries greater responsibilities than at any time in its history. The EU remains an anchor of stability. Enlargement has spread democracy and prosperity across our continent. The Balkans are changing for the better. Our neighbourhood policy has created a strong framework for relations with partners to the south and east, now with a new dimension in the Union for the Mediterranean and the Eastern Partnership. Since 2003, the EU has increasingly made a difference in addressing crisis and conflict, in places such as Afghanistan or Georgia.

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By Laurent Rathborn, UK Defence Forum Researcher

The moral question over how Europe and America should respond to Gaddafi's attack on civilians has been at least partially answered; aircraft from multiple nations are attempting to keep the peace, and so far seem to be succeeding. What happens next, however, depends on a number of factors and the response that NATO forces will adopt in the face of ongoing violence. Unlike Iraq in the mid-90s, this no-fly-zone (NFZ) has been set up right in the middle of a civil war. Legitimised by its bid to throw off a tyrant who, like Saddam Hussein, has little compunction about murdering his own citizens, this is almost a textbook example of an uphill struggle for democratic freedom, supported by a regional body the Arab League - which asked for outside help in restoring sanity.

Unlike Iraq, where the no-fly zone was imposed after the brunt of the fighting had stopped, this conflict is still hot. Several ways forwards for NATO forces are now possible, but will depend on Gaddafi's next moves. In the immediate term, there must be an active effort to prevent what happened at the end of the first Gulf War; a deliberate punishment of civilians by Saddam's helicopter corps. Whereas all reports indicate that Gaddafi's air forces are now no longer a factor, it will take constant monitoring to ensure that revenge attacks are not perpetrated by ground forces in the future for what NATO is doing in the present.

Libyan government forces have thousands of square miles of desert to hide in, and the language used in Resolution 1973 explicitly forbids foreign occupation. However, as noted by UK government ministers, in strict legal terms, a ground force does not have to be an occupation force. The situation as it exists at the moment is very fluid, and all efforts will be concentrated on stopping government forces punishing civilians and disabling the infrastructure that enables them to do so. Strikes to this effect have already been carried out, but NATO forces will eventually run out of military targets. Once they do, several options may present themselves. The following are listed in order of aggression:

Actively target the Libyan leadership by military means. Emplace a NATO-backed, UN-approved government;Actively target the Libyan leadership in order to place them before the International Criminal Court, which is investigating multiple human rights abuses by the regime;Quarantine the east of the country from government forces via heavy NFZ activity or troop emplacement while seeking a political settlement that may end in partition or the creation of a transitional rebel-led government. Allow the internal prosecution of former regime elements;Continue to quarantine the air and wait for the rebels to win;Retreat, and let affairs come to their own conclusion.

The last of these is unlikely, but is included for the sake of completeness in the light of complaints by the Arab League that the intervention goes too far and was not what it had envisaged when it asked for international help. There are feelings amongst some commentators that those expressing legitimate revolutionary sentiments in Libya have now been disenfranchised by NATO's actions. They miss the more immediate point that people expressing revolutionary sentiments would have been overrun by now without intervention. Whether the democratic protests and rebel action can still be called legitimate is a talking point for political philosophers; what matters now is what NATO, the democratic rebels, and the Arab League can achieve.

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Distinct interests sparked the European involvement in Libya. The United Kingdom and France have issued vociferous calls for intervention in Libya for the past month, ultimately managing to convince the rest of Europe with some notable exceptions to join in military action, the Arab League to offer its initial support, and global powers China and Russia to abstain from voting at the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. President Barack Obama said March 21 that the leadership of the U.S.-European coalition against Libya would be transitioned to the European allies "in a matter of days." While the United States would retain the lead during Operation Odyssey Dawn intended to incapacitate Tripoli's command and control, stationary air defenses and airfields Obama explained that Odyssey Dawn would create the "conditions for our European allies and Arab partners to carry out the measures authorized by the U.N. Security Council resolution." While Obama pointed out that the U.S.-European intervention in Libya is very much Europe's war, French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) and Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi (551) arrived in waters near Libya, giving Europeans a valuable asset from which to increase European air sortie generation rates and time on station.

Before analyzing the disparate interests of European nations in Libya, one must first take stock of this coalition in terms of its stated military and political goals.

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After extra time on Sunday night, Spain beat The Netherlands 1-0.

Spain

Spain's win over Germany in the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup was doubly satisfying to many. Not only did Spain reach the finals of the most prestigious sporting competition in the world, but it gave a boost of confidence to the beleaguered Mediterranean region. Spain is one of the headliners of what is known as the "Club Med," a group of Mediterranean countries facing a severe economic crisis due to high budget deficits and growing government debt. The year 2010 has been harsh for the Club, with Greece facing a severe sovereign debt crisis that has threatened the financial stability of Europe as a whole, and then with Portugal, Spain and Italy identified as the next dominoes to fall.

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By George Friedman

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will brief French and Polish officials on a joint proposal for Russian-European "cooperation on security," according to a statement from Westerwelle's spokesman on Monday. The proposal emerged out of talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev earlier in June and is based on a draft Russia drew up in 2008. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be present at the meeting. Andreas Peschke said, "We want to further elaborate and discuss it within the triangle [i.e., France, Germany and Poland] in the presence of the Russian foreign minister."

On the surface, the proposal developed by Merkel and Medvedev appears primarily structural. It raises security discussions about specific trouble spots to the ministerial level rather than the ambassadorial level, with a committee being formed consisting of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russia's foreign minister.

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