Defense & Security
Military strategy, alliances, weapons, troops and firepower. Defense and security issues shape geopolitical events now more than ever. GIS experts provide scenarios for future military developments.
Russia is turning Crimea into a forward bastion, armed with its latest missile, naval and radar technology. The consequences for the region are dire, raising the threat level for several NATO members and consolidating Moscow’s position against Ukraine and Georgia. The Black Sea is now as likely as the Baltics to become the flash point of a confrontation between Russia and the West.
Trump’s Middle East blueprint: an Israeli view
Donald Trump took a scattershot approach to the Middle East in his election campaign. At times, he advocated greater involvement, at others he leaned toward isolationism. On balance, however, the new president will have no choice but to jettison Barack Obama’s policy of disengagement. The most probable outcome is active intervention.
Social unrest undermines Morocco’s stability
Morocco’s elections in October 2016 showed that its democracy is strengthening. But for some, reform has not gone far enough. A fishmonger’s death recently sparked protests that could bring instability similar to that seen in the country’s neighbors in 2011. On top of that, security concerns are increasing. Can Morocco remain North Africa’s success story?
War and peace: How Russia’s domestic and foreign policies interact
If you pay attention to its media, it is easy to believe that Russia is on the warpath – toward cyber war, hybrid war, a second Cold War or even a Third World War. This may even be true in a way, but the real battleground is inside Russia. At stake is the country’s internal stability, and all that hostility can easily be redirected from Western foes to more dangerous, internal enemies.
China modernizes its air force to project power globally
China has made a remarkable progress over the past 20 years in modernizing its air force. Ambitious new aircraft procurement programs are designed to strengthen Beijing’s position regionally and globally. Nevertheless, structural weaknesses in the economy will continue to prevent the Chinese air force from achieving technological parity with the United States.
Iraq: OPEC’s wild card
Though OPEC agreed to reduce production at its September meeting, Iraq is resisting, arguing that the data used to determine the cuts is wrong and that it must continue producing to keep its economy afloat. If Iraq wins an exemption, other countries could follow, forcing OPEC to try for a bigger reduction. That will only happen if Saudi Arabia agrees to take on the lion's share of the cuts.
What Russia’s military is good for
Russia’s military potential is dwarfed by the West’s, but it is surprisingly well-prepared for the limited wars it is most likely to fight. Key new technologies have been developed to keep NATO at arm’s length, but the Kremlin’s greatest edge may be its mindset.
No rest for NATO strategists
Nobody – not NATO, not Europe, not even Russian President Vladimir Putin – wants another Cold War. But we have one anyway: a new, 21st century hybrid that has been creeping into our security establishment for almost a decade. NATO is still in the early stages of a necessary strategic adjustment, which may be delayed by elections and new governments in the United States and Europe.
Bangladesh faces threat of sectarian violence as leaders jockey for power
Forty-five years after Independence, Bangladesh stands at the edge of the precipice. Restoration of democracy in 1991 has spurred economic and social development, but these gains are being undone by violent religious fundamentalism. Two formidable women, the leaders of Bangladesh’s main political parties, are using these radicals in a proxy war that could cost the country its “democratic dividend.”
The militarization of Northern Europe
The Baltic Sea and northern Scandinavia is rapidly turning into the most likely area of armed conflict between NATO and Russia. Northern Europe is to today’s confrontation with Russia what Central Europe once was during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. And that might be the good news.