Web Page sponsored by Harris Corporation
19 Feb 18. HMS OCEAN: Sale Agreed. The MoD announced (19 Feb 18) that HMS OCEAN has been sold to the Brazilian Navy for “around £84m”. The sale is being managed by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (part of the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation) and profits generated by the sale will be reinvested in Defence. HMS OCEAN is due to decommission on 27 Mar 18 and it is planned that the Brazilian Navy will take possession in June 2018. Modifications to the ship, funded by Brazil, will be undertaken in the UK by Babcock and BAE Systems.
Comment: HMS OCEAN’s role as UK flagship is now being undertaken by the amphibious assault ship HMS ALBION. HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH will eventually undertake the role of flagship and is currently preparing for helicopter trials at sea. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/08, 28 Feb 18)
23 Feb 18. HMS SUTHERLAND: Arrives in Australia. The RN reported (23 Feb 18) that the Type 23 frigate HMS SUTHERLAND has arrived in Australia, as part of a deployment to represent UK interests across the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. After briefly visiting Fremantle HMS SUTHERLAND moved on to Adelaide. The ship will be joining the Australian fleet on a major ‘war gaming’ exercise (Ex OCEAN EXPLORER) which takes place over three weeks.
Comment: A key part of HMS SUTHERLAND’s visit is to promote UK industry as the Type 26 Global Combat Ship design is being considered for Australia’s Future Frigate Programme requirement. During her deployment,
it is anticipated that HMS SUTHERLAND will be available to work with other regional partners including Japan, South Korea and the US. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/08, 28 Feb 18)
15 Feb 18. AS90 Turret Trainer: Savings Achieved. The MoD reported (15 Feb 18) that the 50,000th simulated round had been fired from an AS90 Turret Trainer, indicating savings of some £125m to the MoD. The Trainer was first introduced in 2005 to train the Commander Gunner and Loader of an AS90 self-propelled 155mm howitzer.
Comment: Based on a standard AS90 turret, the trainer uses an electro-mechanical system to replicate a complete firing cycle. Since the trainer was introduced, more than 8,500 soldiers have used the equipment. The
50,000 milestone (as recorded by a digital counter on 14 Feb 18) represents savings of about £125m over a 12-year period; on the basis that live rounds cost £2,500 each. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/08, 28 Feb 18)
19 Feb 18. HMSML GLEANER: Decommissioned. The RN announced (19 Feb 18) that HMSML (Her Majesty’s Survey Motor Launch) GLEANER, the RN’s smallest ship with a crew of eight sailors, has been decommissioned after 35 years of service. HMSML GLEANER began her career as the RN’s Inshore Survey Vessel in 1983 and was initially designed for hydrographic survey operations along the South coast of the UK. Subsequently GLEANER has operated around the UK and further afield.
Comment: GLEANER’s replacement has been announced as HMS MAGPIE, due to be delivered to the RN in the Summer of 2018. The new ship is a modern catamaran, with an overall length of 18 metres. The title of the RN’s smallest commissioned vessel will now be shared by the fast patrol boats of the Gibraltar Squadron (HM Ships SCIMITAR & SABRE). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/08, 28 Feb 18)
17 Feb 18. European Defence Co-operation: Munich Speech. The Prime Minister delivered (17 Feb 18) a speech at the Munich Security Conference outlining the UK’s approach to continued co-operation with Europe, on Defence and security matters, following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. The Prime Minister proposed focusing on three areas: regular consultation at the diplomatic level on “global challenges” and co-operation on sanctions, operational co-operation (EU Operations and Missions) and continued collaboration on the development of European
Defence capabilities (including agreement of a “future relationship” with the European Defence Agency).
Comment: The UK’s proposed post-Brexit foreign and defence policy was set out in the document entitled: ‘Foreign Policy, Defence and Development: A future partnership paper’ published on 12 Dec 17. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/08, 28 Feb 18)
22 Feb 18. EU Missions and Operations: British Nationals. In a Written Answer (22 Feb 18) the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister for Europe gave details of British nationals seconded to EU military and civilian operations and missions. During 2017, 82 British nationals were deployed on EU Common Security and Defence Policy military operations and missions: UK HQ of the Naval Force for Somalia – 57; the Training Mission in Malawi – eight; Force ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina – seven; the Mediterranean Naval Force – six and the Training Mission in Somalia – four. A further 120 personnel were in the intermediate reserve held in the UK for Force ALTHEA.
25 British nationals were also deployed on civilian missions: the monitoring mission in Georgia – nine; the Advisory Mission in Ukraine – six; the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo – six; the Kosovo Specialist
Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in the Netherlands – three and one to the Capacity Building mission in Mali.
Comment: The above operations and missions were all established under the Treaty of European Union, as amended by the Maastricht Treaty (Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia and Naval Force Somalia) and by the Treaty of Lisbon (Ukraine, Mali, the Mediterranean and the Training Mission to Somalia). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/08, 28 Feb 18)
22 Feb 18. Air Combat Strategy: Launch. In a Written Statement (22 Feb 18) the Defence Secretary set out the MoD’s intention to develop an Air Combat
Strategy, working with other Government Departments, Industry and International Partners. The Strategy will build on the Industrial Strategy (published 27 Nov 17) and the Defence Industrial Policy (published 20 Dec 17). The work will examine future operational requirements and the skills and resources needed to deliver it while
also considering emerging technologies and export potential. The Strategy is to be developed as part of the Modernising Defence Programme and is expected to be launched in Summer 2018.
Comment: 85% of UK defence exports (totalling some £73,000m over the past 10 years) were generated by the aerospace sector. The associated Industry comprises nearly 2,500 companies, generating a turnover of more
that £33,500m and employing some 128,000 people (of whom 26,000 are in highly skilled jobs). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/08, 28 Feb 18)
16 Feb 18. Malawi: Counter-Poaching. The Defence Secretary announced (16 Feb 18) an increase in efforts to stop the cruel hunting of animals in
Malawi. Deployments to Nkhotakota and Majete Wildlife Reserves are to start in May 2018, following a successful pilot scheme in Liwonde National Park.
Comment: As noted in DNA Issue 17/44 (dated 4 Dec 17), soldiers from the British Army have been seconded to Malawi to assist counter-poaching efforts. A conservation crisis around the globe is causing the loss of many species, fuelled by the illegal wildlife trade. Among the animals affected are elephants, rhinos and lions. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/08, 28 Feb 18)
24 Feb 18. Army major Robert Campbell returns medals over ‘cruel’ Iraq death inquiries. An army officer who faces another investigation over the death of an Iraqi teenager has revealed that he returned his war medals to the Queen. Major Robert Campbell, an expert in explosives ordnance disposal, condemned the latest inquiry as “unspeakably vindictive and cruel” and accused the army of treating soldiers as “political fodder”.
He pointed to the Ministry of Defence having paid more than £100 million to “mendacious” human rights lawyers, including Phil Shiner, who was struck off for misconduct after bringing dishonest abuse claims against British soldiers who served in Iraq.
The Royal Engineer, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, denounced his treatment after waiving his legal right to anonymity. He has been repeatedly investigated over the death of Said Shabram, 19, who drowned in Basra in 2003. It was alleged that the teenager may have been forced into a river by British soldiers after being caught looting.
Major Campbell, from Cambridge, who has denied any wrongdoing and has described trying to save Mr Shabram who had jumped into the river, said he had returned his medals to the Queen last year “at a particular low point” and received a “very touching” private letter from Buckingham Palace.
His decorations included campaign medals for Iraq and Afghanistan and a Nato Meritorious Service Medal.
“The armed forces covenant, values and standards of the British Army, leadership code and Queen’s Regulations are now reduced to meaningless platitudes,” he said. “What they don’t tell you is that in 21st-century warfare anyone can make up any allegation, regardless of how absurd it is, and it will hover over you like a cloud of poison gas for decades, while the army will watch in indifference.”
Major Campbell, who leaves the army in six weeks’ time having been disabled by his service, added: “The MoD has shown nothing but cowardice in standing up to Mr Shiner and his mendacious cohort, and a distinct lack of moral courage in fighting for us.” He faces giving evidence to an Iraq Fatality Investigations hearing, a type of inquest that is opened only when there is no prospect of criminal charges.
Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative MP and former army officer who is chairman of the foreign affairs committee, called the latest inquiry a disgrace. He added: “Having courageously faced the enemy he’s now being attacked by bureaucratic cowardice.”
Johnny Mercer, a Conservative MP and former army captain who served in Afghanistan, said that strong political leadership was needed to stop the “endless legal pursuit” of service personnel.
The MoD said it had a legal obligation to ensure that the facts of the alleged incidents were known.
List of investigations
Inquiries involving Major Robert Campbell after the death of Said Shabram in Iraq in May 2003:
2003 Royal Military Police investigation
2006 Preliminary examination by the army prosecuting authority
2008 Aitken report into abuses and unlawful killing in Iraq
2011 Civil case against the Ministry of Defence
2013 Provost marshal army investigation
2014 Iraq Historic Allegations Team investigation
2016 Review by the service prosecuting authority
2017 Independent case review after family request a second opinion
2018 Iraq Fatality Investigations inquiry
(Source: The Times)
BATTLESPACE Comment: Here we go again! The Army belittling brave soldiers at the expense of lawyers, when will they learn! Why do they think recruiting is down if they don’t protect their own! Well done Major Campbell for returning your medals.
23 Feb 18. Report: Finland’s defence spending to reach $5.6bn by 2023. Finland’s defence budget is anticipated to reach $5.6bn by 2023, witnessing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.25% over the forecast period, according to a report by Strategic Defence Intelligence (SDI). Titled ‘Future of the Finnish Defense Industry – Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2023’, the report provides insights about the Finnish defence industry. The annual defence spending reached $3.5bn in 2018 and the country’s cumulative expenditure on its armed forces is expected to stand at $22.7bn during the forecast period. International peacekeeping missions, upgrade initiatives and a perceived security threat from Russia are expected to drive the rise in military expenditure during the period. As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), Finland’s defence spending registered an average of 1.3% between 2014 and 2018 and is expected to average 1.7% in the forecast period owing to the government’s aim to reduce debt and increase employment opportunities within the country. The allocation of capital expenditure is expected to rise to $1.8bn in 2023 from $1.1bn recorded in 2018, registering a CAGR of 10.80% during the forecast period, the report added. Procurement of fighter jets and multi-role aircraft, corvettes and land-based C4ISR, in addition to an allotment of 67.6% of Finland’s defence budget towards revenue expenditure are reported to be the primary reasons for the increase in budget. The country’s homeland security (HLS) spending is expected to rise from $1.8bn in 2018 to $2.2bn in 2023, representing a CAGR of 3.82% during the forecast period. Military imports and exports are also anticipated to increase between 2019 and 2023. Finland is encouraging joint research and collaborations with domestic defence companies in addition to supporting foreign investors to enter the defence industry. (Source: army-technology.com)
22 Feb 18. Sweden maintained export momentum in 2017. Swedish defence exports in 2017 remained at the high level achieved during 2016 with sales valued at SEK11.3bn (USD1.4bn). The Swedish Inspectorate of Strategic Products (Inspektionen for Strategiska Produkter) reported on 21 February that foreign sales of military materiel had increased just 2% more than the SEK11bn achieved in 2016, although this compared with exports of SEK7.6bn and SEK8bn in 2015 and 2014 respectively. However, the figure remains behind the peak of SEK11.9bn achieved in 2013. Ongoing activity associated with Brazil’s 2014 decision to purchase 36 Saab Gripen E/F multirole combat aircraft (a procurement valued at USD5.4bn) largely explains the sharp increase from the lows of 2014 and 2015. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Feb 18. Germany’s armed forces are in bad shape, report finds. The German armed forces continue to be plagued by serious equipment and personnel shortages despite a major effort begun in 2016 to turn a corner, according to the annual report by the parliamentary commissioner for the Bundeswehr. The assessment comes just days after Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen vowed before senior international leaders at the Munich Security Conference that Berlin would follow through on its European Union and NATO commitment for a militarily stronger Europe.
The report by Hans-Peter Bartels, of the Social Democratic Party, says Germany will be hard-pressed to meet a NATO-wide defense spending target of 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2025.
Click here for full coverage of the Munich Security Conference.
While the defense budget is slated to grow from €37bn (U.S. $46bn) in 2017 to €42.4bn in 2021, the percentage of GDP would remain constant at 1.2 percent, given Germany’s projected economic growth.
“Additional efforts are necessary,” Bartels wrote.
At the same time, managerial problems, not a lack of money, are to blame for the ongoing crisis, according to the commissioner. Programs that fail to deliver, undeployable equipment and a shortage of spare parts have led to tanks not running, planes not flying and units having to borrow rifles from each other.
For example, none of the six submarines was able to sail at the end of 2017, and flights of the A-400M airlifter are routinely canceled because few of the 14 aircraft work. On land, outages in the Leopard 2 battle tanks have reached a “critical mark,” with only 95 of 244 vehicles ready for deployment.
Gen. Volker Wieker, Germany’s chief of defense, told reporters in Berlin that despite equipment shortages, Germany would field the necessary personnel and equipment in time to lead the brigade-sized, multinational NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, which is due June 30.
Germany has more than 15,000 soldiers deployed in 20 operations worldwide. Those units, Wieker argued, are unaffected by any shortages.
“I have heard no complaints from within Germany or from our allies that they aren’t doing an outstanding job,” he said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
21 Feb 18. Combat air strategy to review future UK defence capability.
The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, has announced the launch of a combat air strategy aimed at finding the next generation of fighter jets and shoring up British aerospace jobs.
The strategy involves consultation between the Ministry of Defence, industry and with the UK’s international partners. It follows completion of a similar strategy for shipbuilding that was completed in September.
The announcement was partly aimed at trying to prop up the British aerospace industry. BAE Systems said in October that it was to cut 2,000 jobs over lack of orders for its Eurofighter Typhoon.
Williamson, who made the announcement during a meeting of the Commons defence committee, said: “The combat air strategy will bring together the best of British engineering, skill and design.”
The chief of the air staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, said: “This strategy will ensure that the RAF can continue to remain at the forefront of the high-end airpower technology and innovation we need to deal with future threats, working in close collaboration with UK industry and our international partners.”
No date was set for completion of a new air strategy, in part because of uncertainty over Brexit. Other European countries are considering joint procurement programmes in response to moves towards a European defence force, which the UK has said it wants no part of.
Even if there was a speedy completion of the air combat strategy, the gap between the current generation of jets and the introduction of the next generation will still remain too big to bridge. Although BAE’s Typhoon is expected to remain in UK service until at least 2040, developing new aircraft normally takes decades.
The MoD is at present phasing in the troubled and well over-budget F-35 fighter, bought from the US, to be deployed on the UK’s two new aircraft carriers.
The announcement was welcomed by industry. Paul Everitt, the chief executive of ADS, a trade organisation for companies in the defence sector, said: “The strategic threats faced by the UK and its international partners and allies require long-term thinking and close collaboration between industry and government.” (Source: Google/Guardian)
21 Feb 18. ADS Response. Responding to today’s statement of intent to create a “Combat Air Strategy” by the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, ADS warmly welcomes the strategy and the opportunity to build a closer partnership between Government and the UK defence industry.
ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: “The Aerospace industry is an enduring success story for UK manufacturing. Our nation’s expertise in designing, building and supporting world-leading combat air capabilities plays a vital role in safeguarding national security and generating economic prosperity. Today’s announcement by the Defence Secretary is extremely welcome and signals the vital need for industry and Government to work together to ensure the UK remains a world leading military air power and a highly competitive and capable option in the export market. The strategic threats faced by the UK and its international partners and allies require long-term thinking and close collaboration between industry and Government. The UK’s world leading combat air sector welcome today’s announcement and will actively support the strategy’s development through the coming months.”
21 Feb 18. Czech MoD pledges to boost defence spending. Czech Defence Minister Karla Slechtova said that it would be an embarrassment if the Czech Republic did not meet its pledge to NATO to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP. “We promised that by 2020 we would increase defence spending to 1.4% of GDP, and at this point I state that the numbers are not there, and therefore I will do everything so that we fulfil our promise to increase spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. Otherwise it would be an embarrassment,” Slechtova told media on 17 February. NATO members that do not spend 2% of GDP on defence pledged to do so in coming years at the alliance’s 2014 Wales summit. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Feb 18. UK Prime Minister May warns EU against freezing Britain out of defense developments. The United Kingdom’s prime minister sent a subtle message to the European Union that going it alone in defense development efforts without full cooperation with the U.K. would be a step backward in regional security. Theresa May focused much of her speech at the Munich Security Conference on reassurances that an exit from the EU by the U.K. does not translate to an abandonment of collective European security. But in terms of defense research and development, May was pointed about the U.K.’s contributions.
“The U.K. spends around 40 percent of Europe’s total [investment] in defense research and development, and this provides a sizeable stimulus to improve Europe’s competitiveness and capability, and this is to the benefit of us all,” May said. “An open and inclusive approach to European capability development, that fully enables the British defense industry to participate, is in our strategic security interests.”
The remarks come amid much discussion and some skepticism about the recently formed EU joint defense agreement to ensure European members are not distracted from their NATO commitments. The Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defence, or PESCO, goes hand-in-hand with the European Defence Fund, first announced in 2016, which could generate a total investment in defense research and capability development of €5.5bn per year after 2020 for member states.
Some EU members — notably France, which has close bilateral defense ties with the U.K. — have advocated for greater integrated European defense, with Britain playing a key role. But how the U.K. and U.K. companies could participate in the fund is unclear once Britain exits the EU.
“The U.K. wants to agree on a future relationship with the European Defense Fund, and the European Defense Agency, so that jointly we can research and develop the best future capability that Europe can muster,” said May, pointing to the Eurofighter Typhoon — a joint effort with the U.K., Germany, Italy and Spain — as an example of the power of defense partnership.
She also pointed to the NotPetya cyberattack perpetuated by Russia against Europe as an example of why development cooperation in network security is so critical. And in the space domain, May noted that “the U.K. hosts much of Europe’s cutting edge capabilities on space,” with a leading role on the Galileo program as one example.
“The key for this is to continue as part of our new partnership, but as is the case more widely, we need to get the right agreements concluded, which will allow the U.K. and its businesses to take part on a fair and open basis.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
19 Feb 18. Croatia signs Cooperation Agreement. The Republic of Croatia signed a Cooperation Agreement with ESA on 19 February 2018. This agreement will allow Croatia and ESA to create the framework for a more intensive and concrete cooperation related to ESA programmes and activities.
Ms Blaženka Divjak, Croatian Minister of Science and Education, and Mr Frédéric Nordlund, Head of External Relations Department, on behalf of the ESA Director General, signed the agreement during an official ceremony in Zagreb, Croatia.
With this agreement, ESA has now established formal cooperation with all EU Member States that are not Member States of ESA. This cooperative step with Croatia will create new and truly valued concrete opportunities for both parties. Minister Divjak said: “We need to build synergies through this agreement between space science, research, education and industry.”
The ESA Director General conducts a series of biannual meetings with representatives of the EU Member States that are not Member States of ESA. Croatia attended these meetings and, through this agreement, is given the opportunity to participate as observer in ESA Council meetings as well as that of its subordinate bodies.
Discussions between ESA and Croatia, represented by the Ministry of Science and Education, about a potential cooperation started in 2014. The first negotiation meeting took place in May 2015 in Zagreb. The government of Croatia has nominated the Ministry of Science and Education as ESA’s counterpart for the implementation of this Cooperation Agreement.
Among the Croatian entities involved in space are the Rudjer Boskovic Institute (RBI), Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ), the National Protection and Rescue Directorate (DUZS), Croatian Academy of Science and Arts (HAZU) and the Faculties of Science, Electrical Engineering and Computing, Geodesy, Transport, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture of the University of Zagreb and other leading universities in Croatia. A number of Croatian companies are also involved in space, particularly in satellite software development. (Source: ASD Network)
17 Feb 18. Germany and two percent for defense – it’s complicated. Lofty goals of European and NATO cooperation abound here at the Munich Security Conference, but who will pay the bill?
Top German leaders here have managed to put a damper on the expectation that Berlin would radically ramp up its defense spending, as Washington would have it, stressing instead that gradual boosts and integration with foreign development would yield better results than military might alone.
For example, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen spotlighted the new government’s plan to couple spending on defense with foreign development. The country currently spends roughly €37bn annually on the Bundeswehr, or 1.2 percent of GDP, with an upward trajectory. Boosting the spending to 2 percent would translate into a sum of €72bn.
While she said the NATO spending commitment — 2 percent of GDP by 2025 — remains a goal, she managed to present the issue as more complicated than a mere figure.
Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seemed to follow the more nuanced view. While he said reaching the goal of 2 percent would be important simply to appease President Trump, Graham suggested that he considers the mere formation of a new defense consciousness in Europe as perhaps even more valuable.
Notably, the would-be governing coalition parties in Berlin recently left out explicit mention of the 2-percent goal in their final contract, as the Christian Social Union, the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, had demanded.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, whose fate is unclear in a new Merkel cabinet, said he considers the 2 percent goal to be “difficult.” For one, he argued, European countries should first seek to increase efficiency in their military programs, thereby getting more joint combat power without a drastic defense-spending spree.
But there is another component to the case of Germany, Gabriel said, and it has to do with post-World War II sensitivities.
“Imagine that Germany for 10 years would spend 2 percent of GDP on defense. That would mean more than €70 bn every year,” he said. “I’m not so sure that all partners within Europe would appreciate this after 10 years.”
Politicians from France, for example, had asked Gabriel whether Germany, after leading on the economic stage as well as politically, to a lesser extent, would now also aspire to lead militarily — a prospect that still makes European neighbors nervous.
“I have great reservations” about the prospect of German defense spending one day surpassing that of France, a nuclear power, as the GDP ranking would prescribe, said Gabriel.
Eastern European countries, nervous about a militarily adventurous Moscow, are more forcefully concerned about the mathematics of shoring up NATO’s combat power by European members.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki argued military spending trends must point upward, eventually weaning the continent from a dependency on U.S. protection.
“I want a ‘Pax Europa,’” he said. “But this is not the case.” (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
19 Feb 18. Disillusionment at the Munich Security Conference. Meeting for two days of speeches, meetings and informal talks at the Munich Security Conference on Feb 17-18, ministers and senior defense and foreign affairs officials projected a morose outlook, according to Tobias Bunde, the conference’s Head of Policy and Analysis. In a series of tweets posted Sunday night, as he was on his way home, Bunde concisely expressed his disillusionment about this year’s conference, and his pessimistic outlook about the future of the United States, Europe and transatlantic relations. Transcript of the entire thread: On my way home from the Munich Security Conference (MSC2018) – and even more worried than before. When people who don’t spend much time with world politics ask whether it is as bad as the media say, I now respond: No, it’s actually worse.
First, the world has seen a frightening amount of brinkmanship recently. Whether it’s East Asia, the Middle East or even Eastern Europe – there is an increased risk of escalation. Many speeches at MSC2018 have underscored this – in many cases, they added fuel to the fire.
Second, there was a lack of constructive ideas to solve some of the most pressing conflicts: The participants of the Normandy format didn’t even meet to discuss. It’s hard to imagine a good solution to the INF issue. And it’s even worse when it comes to Syria or North Korea. Third, beyond these “classical” (and more immediate) security crises, we are facing tremendous long-term challenges related to the rise of new technologies and the rise of illiberal great powers (…and we are only beginning to grasp their implications).
Most importantly, the traditional “guardians” of the liberal international order seem overwhelmed and paralyzed. To many in Munich, the US increasingly looks like a rudderless ship, and the Europeans mostly offer analyses rather than strategies. The community of liberal democracies is showing signs of disintegration. Some allies threaten each other, some even did not want to sit on stage together in Munich. Major politicians (not just in the US) now regularly attack basic liberal values. As someone who thinks that the relations among liberal democracies are indeed special because of their underlying collective identity, I fear that this doesn’t bode well for the future of institutions such as NATO and the EU. And this doesn’t bode well for the world. (Source: defense-aerospace.com) (Source: compiled by Defense-Aerospace.com; posted Feb 19, 2018)
19 Feb 18. Nato Alliance Joint Air Power Strategy approved. Alliance Joint Air Power Strategy meeting. Credit: Ministry of National Defence Republic of Lithuania. Nato defence ministers have approved the Alliance Joint Air Power Strategy, which aims to ensure the stability and security of Nato airspace, at a meeting held in Brussels. The new strategy offers long-term guidelines in the development of Nato air capabilities in addition to defining airforce adaptation the alliance is expected to pursue in the future to be in line with the changes in the security environment. The Alliance Joint Air Power Strategy has been drafted amidst rising security challenges in the present security environment, including in the Baltic region, due to the aggressive posture and actions of Russia.
Lithuania National Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis said: “Development of such capabilities as air defence is very important for us because of the shortage of these capabilities in the region in comparison to what is needed for an effective response to Russia’s A2/AD capabilities in the region.
“Enhanced Nato air power will ensure control and defence of Nato airspace, which significantly strengthens collective defence and deterrence.”
The Nato air capabilities will help provide the allies with a quick and precise response either alone or jointly with land, maritime, or special operations forces, in addition to providing flexibility to joint forces.
The ministers also addressed Nato’s readiness to send in reinforcement in case of a crisis.
Karoblis added: “High readiness forces and speedy decision-making are crucial for ensuring a timely and effective reinforcement in a crisis, which is particularly relevant in the Baltic region.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
19 Feb 18. Mattis ‘Heartened’ by NATO Nations’ Increased Defense Budgets. Global democracies are working together, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday to reporters traveling with him as he wrapped up a European trip to reaffirm key partnerships and alliances. The secretary’s travels included meetings with defense leaders in Rome, taking part in this year’s first meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, attending the 54th Annual Munich Security Conference in Germany, and meetings with leaders and troops from U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command. The Defense Department has three lines of effort that include creating stronger alliances by working by, with and through partner nations, Mattis told reporters.
To that effort, “NATO remains our No. 1 alliance,” he said, adding that he was heartened at the ministerial by various nations’ continued increased defense budgets.
“[Just] to look around that room and see 29 nations all working together … you have to remember the fundamental strength of that alliance,” the secretary said.
Visits to Combatant Command
Mattis called Eucom a “very focused outfit,” and said his visit with troops and leaders there shows the “degree of rapport we maintain through thick and thin.”
In his visit to Africom, the secretary discussed with leaders the elements supported across Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Horn of Africa to stop violent extremists. It is by and through allies and partners there that those efforts continue, he emphasized.
At the 54th Munich Security Conference, Europe’s largest security conference, the secretary said he saw a much stronger European focus on defense.
Defense Budgets Climb
While many of the democracies at the conference are coming out of challenging economic times, he said, “you see the defense portfolios being raised everywhere.”
Germany keeps a strong balance in its form of government between development and defense, Mattis said, adding that he endorses and supports it. “Americans continue to put out hundreds of ms of dollars a year, bns total, in development funding. [We] all do it our own way, but what you see, again, are democracies working together,” he said.
The secretary said he held bilateral talks with the defense leaders of several nations, including Georgia and Ukraine.
“We stand with them on their territorial integrity,” he said of those two nations. “Both of those countries have territory occupied by illegal Russian forces or Russian-supported forces. So in both those cases, we stand with them in term of international law, in terms of strengthening their government-reform efforts, especially, in my case [where] I work with their ministries of defense.”
Mattis said he appreciates those nations’ “full-fledged” efforts.
“They came out from underneath Soviet domination. They went through the gathering of freedom without many of the internal controls that we in the West enjoy, and they’re now having to go through the reform effort to try to put in place the kind of things that you and I take for granted,” Mattis said.
“So we talked at some length about the reform efforts, and what we can do to assist them. We are very responsive to their needs. That’s the way we do it,” he said. (Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)
About Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation is a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing solutions that connect, inform and protect. Harris supports government and commercial customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately $6bn in annual revenue. The company is organized into three business segments: Communication Systems, Space and Intelligence Systems and Electronic Systems. Learn more at harris.com.