Category Archives: Defense

Russia monitors NATO Baltops-2019

Russia’s Baltic Fleet is monitoring the joint exercises of NATO Baltops-2019, Russia’s National Defense Control Center (NDCC) informed press on June 15.

In order to identify the threats to navigational safety of civilian vessels, related to the use of radio-electronic warfare means by NATO ships, the corresponding units of the Baltic Fleet are monitoring the radio-electronic situation in the area of the drills,” the message by the NDCC informed.

According to the center, participants of the NATO drills in the southern part of the Baltic Sea are practicing radio-suppression of location and navigation systems.

Russia Black Sea drills

Russia‘s airborne early warning and control A-50 aircraft, S-400 missile systems, as well as the Bal and Bastion coastal defense missile systems are taking part in the Black Sea drills held amid NATO‘s Sea Shield 2019 drills, the Russian Defense Ministry’s informs statement published on its official website

To ensure the fulfillment of training and combat missions of aviation and the forces of the fleet of the Southern Military District, airborne early warning and control A-50 jets have been in the Black Sea area. They were on a mission over the Black Sea waters for more than 5 hours and targeted Su-27SM and Su-30 jets to supersonic and stratospheric targets more than 20 times,” the Defense Ministry pointed out.

According to the ministry’s data, the Black Sea drills feature more than 50 planes and helicopters, as well as the S-400 Triumf missile system the Bal and Bastion coastal defense missile systems battalions.

NATO under cyber attacks

The face of war is changing dramatically as cyber and electronic attacks become increasingly commonplace, and so must our allies’ understanding of defense.

Of NATO 28’s member states, only five meet the goal – German defense spending is just 1,2% of GDP. President Trump has a point: NATO’s economics are clearly not working out, and this is undermining the alliance. But the crucial adjustment that is needed is not the amount of spending, but what it seeks to fund.

NATO regrets Kosovo “ill-timed” army formation

Today, the Institutions in Kosovo have announced the adoption of the three laws initiating the process of transition of the Kosovo Security Force“-  Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO  said in an issued statement.

“I regret that this decision was made despite the concerns expressed by NATO. While the transition of the Kosovo Security Force is in principle a matter for Kosovo to decide, we have made clear that this move  is ill-timed. 

“NATO supports the development of the Kosovo Security Force under its current mandate. With the change of mandate, the North Atlantic Council will now have to re-examine the level of NATO’s engagement with the Kosovo Security Force.

“NATO remains committed through KFOR to a safe and secure environment in Kosovo and to stability in the wider Western Balkans.

“All sides must ensure that today’s decision will not further increase tensions in the region. All responsible political actors in the region need to focus on progress with reforms, and on dialogue. I reiterate my call on both Pristina and Belgrade to remain calm and refrain from any statements or actions which may lead to escalation. NATO continues to support the EU-sponsored dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina as the only lasting political solution for the region.” – the statement concludes.

NATO accuses Russia in violation of Nuclear Forces Treaty

NATO Foreign Ministers are meeting December 4 to begin two days of talks on critical issues for the Alliance’s shared security. Ministers will discuss NATO’s cooperation with Georgia and Ukraine, transatlantic security, and the Alliance’s approach to the Middle East and North Africa. The Western Balkans and the security situation in Afghanistan will also be high on the agenda.

During the first day of the discussions the allies have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a new missile system in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a key arms control agreement which has been crucial in upholding NATO’s security for over 30 years. At a meeting  NATO Foreign Ministers called on Russia to urgently return to full and verifiable compliance, saying: “it is now up to Russia to preserve the INF Treaty.” Allies expressed firm commitment to preserving effective international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

European army: a convenient utopia

Dr Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann OPINION The idea of ​​creating a European army is today a convenient utopia. French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken out in favor of the creation of a “European army”, on the occasion of the commemoration of 11 November 1918 in Paris, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported this idea. Emmanuel Macron’s statement on the “European army” should be seen as a political slogan in the run-up to the European Parliament elections of May 2019. It does not reflect nor the true French position nor the German one.

Let’s also examine this proposition from the geopolitical point of view. In reality, Germany and France have different strategic priorities because they have different perceptions of threats (see map on the perceptions of threats of Germany and France).

Although France and Germany are active in all the different ongoing initiatives to foster more cooperation on defense  in Europe, they have different priorities.

The French president is promoting joint military operations in the Mediterranean region, in the Middle East and in Africa and is looking for the support of other Europeans. For the French the threat comes mainly from the southern flank,  with Islamic terrorism. The eastern flank of Europe is for them of secondary importance

On the contrary, Germany is concerned mainly about security on the eastern flank of Europe. For Germany, which has always been part of the integrated military structure of NATO, the European army should be a pillar of the Atlantic alliance. The Germans are mainly in synergy with the geopolitical interests of the United States to contain Russia.

It is for this reason that Germany gives priority to the ongoing structured  Permanent Structure Cooperation (PESCO) between European Union member states in the field of defense and security, in order to implement joint projects in synergy with NATO’s priorities. They also focus on the concept of  framework-nation within NATO and position themselves as leaders for integration of the Central and Eastern European armies, together with the United States. Germany is wary of Emmanuel Macron’s idea of ​​a European intervention initiative (EI2) , because it is supposed to be autonomous from both the European Union and NATO. Although they provide some support, the Germans do not wish to be sucked into operations they perceive as cover for French interests in the Mediterranean region and in Africa.

The French President is also influenced by Euro-Atlanticist priorities, and this is why he believes that European cooperation in the field of defense must be compatible with NATO, but with a greater degree of autonomy than Germany. According to the vision of “Europe Puissance” (Europe as a global and military power), France is promoting cooperation in the military field between sovereign member states, in order to reach European leadership.  

In the current geopolitical context, the idea of ​​a European army could not work because Europeans would find it very difficult to agree on a integrated military command. In particular because France is a nuclear power, but not Germany. France, unlike Germany, is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Moreover, the decision to send soldiers who risk their lives is only possible within the framework of a national decision, since there is no “European nation”.

The future lies more in rather fluid and variable alliances and Coalitions of the Willing according to different strategic objectives and geographical theaters.

Cooperation between member states of the European Union on defense issues is already difficult enough. It is not necessary to add  utopian objectives. Speaking of a “European army” is a convenient utopia, and useful to hide the absence of real debates on the divergent geopolitical visions between Europeans, and particularly between Germany and France.

In order to progress on the path of closer cooperation in the military field, parallel work is needed to bring together divergent views on geopolitical diagnosis, perceptions of security and identification of common interests.

This would finally open the way towards a deeper dialogue on European’ aims.

Image below: map, author Dr.Thomann

EU Army map

 

 

Trump expects fair defence cost-sharing

The United States wants a “strong Europe” and is willing to help its ally, but Europe must be fair when in sharing the defence burden, U.S. President Donald Trump said during his visit to France devoted to commemoration of the First World War.

We want a strong Europe, it’s very important to us and whichever way we can do it the best and more efficient would be something we both want,” Trump announced in his remarks after warm welcome of  President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

While explaining what meant in his  tweet about feeling insulted by Macron’s comments that Europe should reduce its dependence on the United States for security, Trump said: “We want to help Europe but it has to be fair. Right now the burden sharing has been largely on the United States.

Around 70 world leaders are gathering in Paris for events marking the Armistice that ended World War One, which was signed 100 years ago this Sunday.

 

« Older Entries