Sunday, 28 November 2021
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Tatiana-foto-ver-5The Portuguese Armed Forces include only Portuguese citizens. They have a single organization for the entire national territory and owe obedience to the competent sovereign bodies. They are at the service of the Portuguese people and are strictly non-partisan. Civilian/political control is exercise by the Minister for National Defence (as at 1 July 2021 Dr João Gomes Cravinho) This paper is part 2 of a 4-part study by Tatiana de Moraes for the U K Defence Forum

The Armed Forces increased in numbers during the pandemic. According to the Ministry of Defense, there is greater attractiveness in the career, highlighting the Action Plan for the Professionalization of Military Service, so the military career is now more attractive.

The new military programming law for the period 2019-30 that was passed by Parliament will finance the acquisition of five KC-390 aircraft, six offshore patrol vessels, a refuelling tanker and a multipurpose logistics vessel. In addition there will be investment in cyber defence and combat systems soldiers.

Portugal hosts NATO's cybersecurity academy and the country also contributes to the European Union's military structures.


Geoff Hoon photo resize"There have been a series of agreements and declarations which have emphasised the need for ever closer cooperation between the EU and NATO..... What is required is for the EU to demonstrate that politically it is better placed to avoid unnecessary military duplication, pool resources and plan collectively for future procurements."

Speaking at an AIES defence conference in Vienna on European Security and Defence in November 2021, Rt Hon Geoff Hoon, former UK Secretary of State for Defence acknowledged the many friends and former colleagues in the audience and on the platform, in particular Senator Alain Richard from France.

He said "The two of us worked closely together in excellent Franco-British cooperation to help establish the early stages of ESDP. It does mean however that it is more than a little strange discussing where those initiatives have now reached recognising that it is highly unlikely that the UK will be involved – at least in an institutional sense given the current politics of the UK.


s200 joseph.fallonOn July 1, 2021, in his speech celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, China’s President Xi declared: "We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward ‘Taiwan independence’…No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

If China invades Taiwan, which appears more likely after Beijing’s successful coup d’état against Hong Kong on June 20, 2020 and the U.S./NATO debacle in Afghanistan on August 31, 2021, Joseph E Fallon considers what options are available to the EU to respond to such aggression?


Robert Walter president European security and Defence Assembly. Session 2009

Can a European Security Council (ESC) contribute to EU and Europe's security and defence, asks Robert Walter?

The time is right for a new European strategic assessment combining the forces of NATO, EU and a coalition of willing nations prepared to commit significant resources to give Europe the ability to protect itself and ultimately defend its people, with or without the United States. The Franco-German proposal for a European Security Council, with the United Kingdom present from the outset, would seem to be timely and sensible way forward.


memorial2 nWe mark the passing of those who have served this country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome. Write to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


RobinthumbnailOur soldiers went to do the bidding of our Government, and did their job with courage, writes Robin Ashby, Director General of the U K Defence Forum..
Thousands came back with life changing physical or mental injuries. We thank them for their service and sacrifice. But we owe them a debt which goes beyond a thank you and a disability pension
Rereading the obituaries published here in Defence Viewpoints as much as 10 years ago is still heart rending.


My friend Anatol Lieven has just published this - link below. As he says in the article, he has visited Pakistan and the Taliban. He has also been a "back channel" in deniable negotiations. There are no easy answers or future certainties, and nobody wears black or white hats...but UK policy cannot be evacuate 12,000 people and then forget about the area (BTW Afghanistan and Pakistan are the last two countries in the world where polio is endemic...)

John Howe KCB 0675It is part of the British tradition that there are Defence Reviews from time to time, writes John Howe. Recently these have been laid down by law as required every five years. They are needed not only because of changes in the defence and security environment, including the threat, but also because of the persistent gap between on the one hand, plans and aspirations, and on the other budget resources. This creates the need, quite apart from any political change in government priorities, or external change, to align from time to time the demand and the supply sides of the equation.

There have been several key UK government publications and announcements this Spring on defence and security: the report on the UK's Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy; the UK White Paper on Defence; a paper on Defence and Security Industrial Strategy; a very positive budgetary settlement for defence; and a statement on the UK's plans for recovery post COVID.



China’s foreign policy in the 21st Century rests on two principal strategies of warfare advanced by Sun Tzu 2,500 years ago in The Art of War. First, writes Joseph E Fallon : “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” And second, “Your aim must be to take All-under-Heaven intact.” “All-under-Heaven” is translated as tianxia.


“Lacking formal boundaries, [tianxia] may take in the known world. In current foreign policy debates, it means a projected global order that, unlike the system of nation-states, conforms to Chinese values, and in nationalist interpretations is amenable to Chinese interests.”


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