Thursday, 21 November 2019
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Strategic issues

by Paula Jaegar, Research Associate, U K Defence Forum

In irregular warfare, superiority in the physical environment is of little value unless it can be translated into an advantage in the information environment

(Professor Laurence Freedman, The Transformation of Strategic Affairs, 2006)

The Revolution in Military Affairs has slipped somewhat from the public debate. Is the concept dead, or simply sleeping off six or seven years' worth of shocks to the body militant ? How does it apply to contemporary scenarios of irregular warfare?

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By Peter Zeihan

At the time of this writing, the natural gas crisis in Europe was entering its 13th day.

While the topic has only penetrated the Western mind as an issue in recent years, Russia and Ukraine have been spatting about the details of natural gas deliveries, volumes, prices and transit terms since the Soviet breakup in 1992. In the end, a deal is always struck, because Russia needs the hard currency that exports to Europe (via Ukraine) bring, and Ukraine needs natural gas to fuel its economy. But in recent years, two things have changed.

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An Introduction to the American Age

An extract from a new book by George Friedman later this month. For details on how to obtain contact www.stratfor.com

Imagine that you were alive in the summer of 1900, living in London, then the capital of the world. Europe ruled the Eastern Hemisphere. There was hardly a place that, if not ruled directly, was not indirectly controlled from a European capital. Europe was at peace and enjoying unprecedented prosperity. Indeed, European interdependence due to trade and investment was so great that serious people were claiming that war had become impossible—and if not impossible, would end within weeks of beginning—because global financial markets couldn't withstand the strain. The future seemed fixed: a peaceful, prosperous Europe would rule the world.

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By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

For the past several years, Stratfor has published an annual forecast for al Qaeda and the jihadist movement. Since the January 2006 forecast, it has focused heavily on the devolution of jihadism from a phenomenon focused primarily on al Qaeda the group to one based primarily on al Qaeda the movement. Last year, Stratfor argued that al Qaeda was struggling to remain relevant and that al Qaeda prime had been marginalized in the physical battlefield. This marginalization of al Qaeda prime had caused that group to forfeit its position at the vanguard of the physical jihad, though it remained deeply involved in the leadership of the ideological battle.

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By Kamran Bokhari and Reva Bhalla

Israel continues Operation Cast Lead against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been the de facto ruler ever since it seized control of the territory in a June 2007 coup. The Israeli campaign, whose declared primary military aim is to neutralize Hamas' ability to carry out rocket attacks against Israel, has led to the reported deaths of more than 560 Palestinians; the number of wounded is approaching the 3,000 mark (as of 8th January 2009).

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