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The crisis in Ukraine is wreaking havoc on Russia’s ambitious plans to modernise its armed forces. The most obvious cause is the combined impact of cheap oil and Western sanctions on state finances. Thus far, the Kremlin has insisted that military procurement be exempt from otherwise drastic budget cuts. But unless the price of oil starts climbing again very soon, ...
Professor Stefan Hedlund
Islamabad’s relationship with America and the issue of political Islam could be expected to make Pakistan and China wary of establishing close links with each other. But the two nations have a mutual rival, India, with whom they share a history of regional conflict and continuing territorial disputes. And China needs Pakistan to provide access to the Middle East, w...
Pakistan, with newly-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the helm, has sparked global optimism that he will steer the nation’s economy out of the doldrums and so revive investor confidence in a country of 180 million. Already Mr Sharif has indicated he intends to do business with Pakistan’s historic ally China. But less clear is how the Sharif government plans t...
Europe has had to rely on American support to resolve two military conflicts, one in Libya and the other in Mali. France has learned from this and intends to order military drones from the United States to increase its capabilities by the end of 2013. The rest of Europe has not learned the lesson and two European projects to develop drones have been scrapped in the...
Dr. Uwe Nerlich
Barack Obama’s new CIA boss has given few clues about the agency’s future under his control, but there are hints of changes in the controversial US armed drones policy and of a switch in emphasis following what is seen in Washington as a successful campaign against al-Qaeda. Any change in direction, though, is likely to be gradual.
Dr. James Jay Carafano