Articles and analysis


joseph.fallonOn September 19, 2023, the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, the self-declared Republic of Artsakh, fell to Azerbaijan's Turkey-supported military forces. It was the "end" of a thirty-year war; little noticed by a world preoccupied with the wars between Russia and Ukraine and Israel and Hamas, writes Joseph E Fallon.

With the fall of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Turkey established their geoeconomic, geopolitical, and geostrategic dominance over the South Caucasus.


By Joseph E. Fallon and Robin Ashby

Baltic Fleet 42 bigIs Russia a threat in the Baltic area? S.B. Ivanov, former Russian Federation Defence Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister, discussing the meaning of "threat" a decade ago, said that its content had drastically changed from the purely standard military threats to the so-called uncertainty factors, which are understood by the Russian Federation Defence Ministry to mean the situation, conflict or process, "which can bring about a significant change of geopolitical environment in the regions of Russia's vital interests, or can directly endanger its security."

The Baltic Sea is a major theatre in what's being described as the new Cold War between NATO and Russia. It is a relatively small body of water on the northeastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by landmasses in nearly all directions. Its surface area is slightly larger than Finland's and its mean depth is only 54 metres. The Baltic Sea is connected to the world oceans only by the narrow Danish straits, which connect it to the North Sea. The Danish straits are formed by two straits immediately next to each other: The Öresund strait on the coast of Sweden and the Belt Sea on the coast of Denmark, which is comprised of the Skagerrak and Kattegat


The name HMS Pickle, a schooner with only five cannon, may not call forth patriots today, but it was a stirring sight on the night of 5-6 June 1829 when, after a deadly exchange of cannon fire at close range, she captured the slaver Voladora off Cuba, with slaves bound for American plantations.

The Voladora was larger and had a crew twice the size, but the Pickle under J.B.B. MacHardy closed, and after an action of 80 minutes the Voladora, the mainmast shot away, the sails repeatedly holed, and rigging trailing over the stern, surrendered. The British had lost four men, their opponents at least fourteen. 223 African men and 97 African women who had been bought in Africa were freed. 32 slaves had already died on the voyage. The British crew imprisoned the slavers in their own chains. The victory was celebrated in Britain, with memorable paintings depicting the plucky triumph of the smaller crew.


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