Tag Archives: NATO

Britain Reaffirms itself as a Military Power | Instant News


British government just now announced a significant increase in its military budget, the increase is likely to take Britain to number three in the world in terms of defense spending. Britain will leave India and only lag behind the United States and China. This may signal a shift in the global layout of geopolitical forces.

“This move comes after a decade of general budget austerity in Britain, a time during which successive governments have reduced Britain’s defense capabilities to the point where France has been left as the leader in terms of military capability among European powers. Now, anything is possible. France remains firm, and its forces continue to be deployed widely and effectively, especially in Africa in the Sahel. But now the British government now seems eager to reassert itself too, especially after Brexit.

“But the main reason why this news is really significant has nothing to do with the money allocated for defense in the next budget, and more has to do with the way the UK government plans to invest that money. While some of this will be used to cover gaps in classic capabilities that have emerged over the past decade – the clearest example of this is the new focus on the Royal Navy and the country’s shipbuilding capacity – much of the new money will go towards emerging stages of conflict: cyber, space and artificial intelligence.

It is true that Britain and other Western countries have and will continue to have significant capacity in these areas based solely on the research and development legacy of this current technology space. Unfortunately, however, countries that have positioned themselves against Western hegemony, such as Russia and China, have spearheaded many offensive aspects of conflict in these spaces. Russia has demonstrated much of the geopolitical weight of offensive cyber power over the past decade, while China has pioneered the offensive technology needed to disrupt space infrastructure in the West, and is currently the global leader in offensive deployment of AI technology.

The United States defense community has followed these developments closely, and has developed a response to these challenges, on an ad hoc basis, even when the political support to do so is not there. But before that, no other Western country apart from Britain has had a government-led reassessment of the current dynamics of global conflict and for the short and medium future. In addition, London has refocused their national defense strategy orientation to meet the challenges arising from Russia, from Iran, and especially, China.

Whether this new defense posture by Britain will be adequately funded for its ambitions, and whether this effort alone will mark a significant shift in power on the geopolitical chessboard remains to be seen. But even if that wasn’t the case, this moment would still carry a lot of meaning.

After years of unnoticed Trump, the United States under future President Joe Biden has no choice but to reaffirm the United States’ position on the global stage. And when it comes to doing so, there is no other choice but to move in the same direction as the British government has just done, by increasing defense capacity in exactly the same region. Once again, Britain finds itself in a position that happens to be leading by example among Western countries, and this alone will mean that it will find itself in an advantageous position in a future re-established Western security pact.

By leading the way in this way, even if the efforts of the British government would not be sufficient to ensure resistance to Russian and Chinese attacks alone, Britain is once again placing itself in the relationship of Western defense arrangements. Therefore, it appears that US-UK relations will once again be at the heart of the broader Trans-Atlantic Alliance. Fortunately, it looks like the UK is determined to remain globally relevant, even after Brexit.

Dr. Azeem Ibrahim is Director at the Center for Global Policy in Washington DC and Research Professor at the US Army War College’s Institute of Strategic Studies.

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US troops in Germany must be redeployed to Poland, the Baltic and the Black Sea | Instant News


Defensive resistance to President Trump’s plans to redeploy US troops from Germany to Poland, the Baltic region and the Black Sea represents an ancient way of deterring Russia. The Trump administration announced in July that this was true move 5,600 members of the US V Corps from Germany to Poland and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) country. More extensive displacement has to be done in the long term.

Critics say that withdrawing US troops from Germany is a gift to Vladimir Putin, but then they complained about the transfer the place US troops are within range of Russian nuclear and conventional weapons, as if American troops had not spent the forty years of the Cold War under similar threats. This thinking of Russia is schizophrenic.

The leaders of the Baltic states have called for NATO to help strengthen their forces over the years, but the institutionalized attitude towards Poland and the Baltics smelled, “of yourself.”

“While there is nothing wrong with increasing the modest US military presence in Poland, this should not come at the expense of a strong foothold in Germany, where American troops stood in the hundreds of thousands during the Cold War and have dwindled in recent decades,” a report written by Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution the word. “But there is no reason for this to come at the expense of capabilities in Germany, which would play a complementary role to equip American bases in Poland in such a critical deployment.”

This argument is pure sentimentality. American troops remained in Germany after World War II to prevent dozens of Soviet and East German divisions from flowing through the Fulda Pass in former West Germany.

The Germans resented the idea of ​​displacement and claimed that it would weaken the alliance. Senator Mitt Romney called the idea of ​​moving troops out of Germany was a “slap in the face of a key ally, friend and great country.”

Such a strategy was the same as fighting in the last war. It’s like Poland’s resistance to the Nazi invasion in 1939 with cavalry on horseback against tanks or France’s reliance on the Maginot Line. Times change and so do strategies. It made no sense to hand over the battlefield to Russia in the first place, as current NATO planning does. Vladimir Putin or his successors would not have cared much about Romney’s (or any Germanophile) sentiment towards Germany if he chose to attack.

The creation of NATO has failed to prevent repeated Russian provocations against NATO’s Eastern flank in recent years. This including the introduction of the nuclear-tipped Iskander short-range ballistic missile that threatened Warsaw along with the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea and the invasion of East Ukraine in 2014.

The deterrence of potential Russian aggression should dictate strategy rather than outdated territorial orthodoxy.

Currently, the military threat to NATO and Europe lies 800-1,000 miles to the East. This isn’t 1985.

Having most of the American troops in Europe in Germany doesn’t make sense if you have to transport them by train to Poland or the Baltic countries in the event of a Russian invasion over a period of seven to ten days. By then, the roughly 100,000-200,000 Russian troops based in the Kaliningrad region along Poland’s northern border and near Russia’s border with the Baltics will have sufficient time to stormed over allied forces.

“How long it will take European allies to muster a reliable additional force for a potential third wave, given the stalling state of some of the European allied forces, is even less clear. One study concluded that even British, French, or German troops would find it difficult to provide heavy combat-ready brigades in a short amount of time, ”reports the 2018 Carnegie Endowment. the word.

Carnegie also noted that getting the power in place was a logistical nightmare because Russia had such a tremendous advantage and because “Stop growing” the logistical state of NATO.

“The flow of NATO reinforcements – by air, sea and land – could be disrupted by Russia’s substantial modern anti-access and area denial (A2 / AD) capabilities, centered in the Kaliningrad exclave and around Saint Petersburg,” Carnegie Endowment. the word in the 2018 study.

A 2016 Rand study theorize, based on Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea that Russia’s annexation of the Baltic states may not be discussed. In that case, any NATO counterattack would face the possibility of a tactical nuclear strike.

Today, America and its NATO allies inadequate heavy armor in the Baltics to deter Russia from swiftly taking those countries. Opponents will complain about the costs of moving to Poland, the Baltic and Black Sea regions, but these costs will be dwarfed by the costs necessary to free the region from Russian invasion. Prevention is less expensive than reactive measures.

Russia’s invasion of Georgia and Ukraine demonstrated its ability to quickly defeat its enemies. Having the right powers, both nuclear and conventional, on Zero Day will send a powerful message to Vladimir Putin that launching any kind of military action against the Baltics, Poland or in the Black Sea region is unwinnable.

To prevent Russia is to come face to face with it. US nuclear forces should be deployed to Poland as a bargaining chip to force the Russians to withdraw their nuclear weapons from Kaliningrad.

Putin views NATO as a paper tiger that will retreat whenever it is confronted. Continuing the Germanocentric strategy of the 1980s to deter Russia in the 2020s and beyond is a losing proposition.

The next administration must continue and enhance President Trump’s strategy of increasing military support for our NATO allies along the alliance’s eastern flank. Following the existing established orthodoxy is a gift to Putin, and the new Biden administration will likely do just that.

John Rossomando is a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in various publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a daily newspaper with 100,000 circulation in Philadelphia and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editor first place award in 2008 for his coverage.

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Will Switzerland Buy the F-35? | Instant News


Switzerland, perhaps known as one of the calmest or least turbulent countries in recent geopolitical history, was able to earn as much as forty The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, thus joining a coalition of fast-growing nations committed to fifth-generation stealth aircraft.

Does this indicate something important? Certainly.

Anything Swiss flowers in a F-35that is to say, attractively reinforces these countries’ longstanding commitments to peace and neutrality. The stealth fighter is partly engineered to demonstrate a measure of air superiority to the point of deterring potential attackers, thereby maintaining the peace.

In recent years, Switzerland has maintained a stance of “armed neutrality”, meaning it supports the North Atlantic Treaty Organization peacekeeping mission but does not formally become a member of the alliance’s military. The state has maintained a “neutral” stance since 1815.

“The F-35 proposal is a total package offering that includes up to 40 F-35A aircraft, a sustainability solution tailored to Swiss autonomy requirements, and a comprehensive training program,” read a Lockheed statement.

From its strategic and tactical position or force posture, there are several reasons why the F-35 might be of interest. Initially, Switzerland’s consideration of the F-35 gave added credibility to the performance of an established aircraft in such exercises Air Force Red Flag a simulation in which the aircraft manages to destroy a large number of enemy platforms without being seen. Such dynamics may explain why the list of potential F-35 partners continues to grow rapidly beyond its original scope. Japan, Israel, South Korea, and maybe now United Arab Emirates are among the newcomers to the F-35 world. The possible acquisition also points to a changing global threat environment in which US expansionist rivals such as Russia and China themselves are rapidly acquiring fifth-generation platforms. China not only already has J-20 and J-31 fighters but also appears to be designing maritime J-31 variants to compete with the F-35B and F-35C.

While it may not be known whether competing Russian and Chinese fifth-generation aircraft actually rival the F-35 in terms of sensing, computing and attack technology, it is a reality that continues to inspire protection responses around the world.

There is yet another factor of interest to any possible Swiss decision, namely intelligence; F-35 partners will of course have the ability to network and operate with other countries’ F-35s. The F-35 operates with general data link allows sharing of information among all F-35s.

Also, not to be ignored, any arrival of the F-35 in Switzerland will inevitably have a significant economic impact on the country’s economy through the creation of jobs and possible technological advancements in the world of aeronautics, weapons and aviation, not to mention stealth. The Lockheed proposal seems well aware of this possibility, stating that “if the F-35 is selected as the new fighter for Switzerland, this industrial work will be carried out in all of Switzerland. Swiss industry has the opportunity to compete in direct production of components for use in all F-35s produced, maintenance projects focused on the support of the Swiss Air Force and increasing Swiss autonomy, and cybersecurity projects directly linked to the F-35. ”

To date, the F-35 has been selected by thirteen countries and operates from twenty-six bases around the world, with nine countries operating the F-35 in its home country. There are more than 585 F-35s in operation today, with more than 1,190 pilots and 9,750 maintainers trained on board, a Lockheed statement said.

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn also worked as an announcer and broadcast military specialist on a national TV network. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

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German government opposes Donald Trump’s troop withdrawal in Afghanistan | Germany | News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | Instant News


If The US pulled most of its troops out of Afghanistan on January 15, the days of the presence of the German troops there can also be counted.

About 1,250 German troops are stationed in three cities – Mazar-e Sharif, Kundus and Kabul, the capital – to advise and train the Afghan army.

Read more: ‘US sends a message that they cannot be trusted’

“Entering together, leaving together” is NATO’s motto of its mission in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump’s push to step down appears to ignore this understanding, leading to German discontent. In all, the 38 countries – NATO members and partner countries – have about 12,000 troops serving in Afghanistan.

‘Don’t be reckless’

Berlin saw this as a bad moment to step back. With peace talks underway in Doha, Qatar, between the Taliban and the Afghan government, this is a very sensitive moment. Negotiations faltered and violence escalated.

“It should not be taken for granted that these two sides, after decades of conflict, sit at the negotiating table to start talking to each other constructively,” said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, adding that many uncertainties and obstacles remain.

“That’s why we shouldn’t add more hurdles, which will result in a hasty exit from Afghanistan,” he said.

Taliban representatives attend peace talks with the Afghan government in Doha

Conditions that must be met

Germany’s defense minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is concerned about the link between peace talks and troop withdrawals. NATO members, including the US, have agreed the latter will occur only after the US has created reliable conditions for it.

“As before, that is the basis on which we are working,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said Tuesday in remarks at the German Armed Forces University in Hamburg. Peace talks have not shown sufficient progress.

Read more: Opinion – The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq is not responsible

According to the agreement drawn up between the US and the Taliban in February, withdrawal is based on two conditions: the Taliban must publicly cut ties with the Al Qaeda terror network and promise that Afghanistan will never pose a terrorist threat again. If these conditions can be met, the US forecasts a complete withdrawal of foreign troops by April 2021. So far none, according to the United Nations.

Read more: A cut in US troops could put Joe Biden in a difficult position

Expensive operation

German military involvement in Afghanistan started after the attacks of 11 September 2001. It was the most difficult and costly operation in the country’s postwar history. At its peak, Germany deployed 5,000 troops, first in Kabul and then in northern Afghanistan. Fifty-nine soldiers died in the fighting there.

In 2015, the mission changed from live combat to training and support. Until the February agreement with the Taliban, the US had about 8,000 troops in the country. That number has been reduced to 4,500, but unlike the German presence, US forces carry out training and combat.

Bundeswehr soldiers walk beside a coffin wrapped in the German flag

The Bundeswehr has seen more than 50 casualties in Afghanistan

Security without US?

Now Donald Trump wants to pull the American presence down to 2,500 troops. It would fulfill previous presidents’ pledges to end the “endless war” in Afghanistan.

Such a rapid withdrawal has the German government worried about a resurgence in extremist forces. US troops, as the largest and most equipped contingent, can be called in to provide support to repel serious attacks, offer air support and evacuate wounded soldiers.

‘Hasty withdrawal will be fatal’

“The US has invested huge sums of money, lost a lot of lives and also caused a lot of civilian casualties,” said Roderich Kiesewetter, a conservative German lawmaker and former soldier who has overseen Trump’s withdrawal plan for months. A hasty withdrawal would be fatal, he said.

The US has lost 2,451 troops since starting combat operations in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, and 32,000 Afghan civilians have died in the past ten years, according to the United Nations.

Kiesewetter sees the US as “morally obliged” to help Afghanistan build its military and civilian society. “A hasty and reckless resignation will only lead to the collapse of social structures and a return to all kinds of organized violence,” he told DW in September.

US 101st Airbone flies over the mountains of Afghanistan

US troops sending air support to their NATO allies also on ‘Firm Support’ missions

‘Secure top priority’

The German government is now looking at the possibility of a deteriorating security situation if the US leaves.

“Regardless of the progress, the safety of our soldiers is the top priority,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. That probably means Germany will speed up its own withdrawal if the security of its forces is threatened. Germany’s operational mandate expires on March 31, 2021. Decisions on further involvement in Afghanistan are expected from NATO member foreign ministers in early December, which could also affect whether the presence of German troops is extended.

“We assume that NATO will jointly decide on future adjustments,” a German military spokesman told DW.

The German army appeared to be preparing for withdrawal. Logistics has been in place since November in Mazar-e Sharif to prepare for the removal of military equipment from the region.

This article was translated from German.

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What can the Biden administration do with European policy | Instant News


Never been a European celebrated on the streets because of the victory of the US president, and no US president knows Europe and also the President-elect Biden. He can begin to implement US policy towards Europe. After four years President TrumpDonald John Trump The Republic of Philadelphia official in charge of vote counting said the office had received death threats Biden will call governors, mayors about mask mandates The Trump campaign’s voter fraud hotline is awash with joke calls MOREEurope longs for a restored friendship with the United States, and offers many low-hanging political fruits for its elected president.

Biden has stated repeatedly that his first act was to call all US allies and tell them the United States is back. He will offer instant full commitment to NATO and Article V on mutual defense. Naturally, Biden, like Obama, would urge them to increase their defense spending to 2 percent of GDP. Europe needs help with Turkey’s political management, which is currently unruly.

Biden too likely to declare full US support for the European Union (EU), which requires nothing more than a statement, but it means the unification of the West. The United States no longer supports the division of the EU, as Trump did with Great Britain’s “Brexit.” A direct but indirect positive effect is a sensible trade agreement between the EU and the UK. The Group of Seven industry-leading economic meeting postponed in 2020 can finally be held.

Hungary and Poland have strayed towards authoritarianism under their current populist governments; they received diplomatic support from Trump. Now that interference will end. The European Union can then persuade first Poland and, next, Hungary to return to the true rule of law and democracy. A difficult question is whether these two countries should be invited to the democracy conference Biden has promised for 2021.

Unlike Trump, Biden will fight Russian aggression. Despite Trump, the US Congress has maintained a strong bipartisan consensus on Russia, which resulted in the Act to Fight America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions (CAATSA) in July 2017.CAATSA approved existing sanctions against Russia, but the Trump administration is clouding its structure, offering the Kremlin no incentive to correct its behavior. The Biden government must restructure sanctions against Russia and persuade the Kremlin to limit its aggression. It will also restore Obama-era cooperation with the European Union on sanctions against Russia.

Trump’s erratic policies destroy the entire scheme of the arms control treaty. Biden could try to convince the Kremlin to once again limit the arms race and rebuild proper reciprocal inspections. The terminating New START agreement on strategic nuclear weapons must be extended, and a new treaty on intermediate nuclear missiles with Russia can be concluded. That Open Skies Agreement about national aviation, abandoned by the Trump administration, must be reinstated.

Trump’s uproar over Ukraine resulted in his impeachment, blocking US’s very strong bipartisan policies in Ukraine. US military aid to Ukraine remains, but the United States needs to re-engage with the country and once again support it in fighting corruption. Ukraine could still be a huge democratic success in the former Soviet Union. Unlike Trump, Biden has made a strong statement in support of democracy in Belarus as well.

Biden will fight Russian hybrid war, whose sharp weapon is “dark” money. That Company Transparency Act, which passed by the House of Representatives with a large bipartisan majority in 2019, is now bound to the National Defense Authorization Act due to be passed for 2021.This law requires all companies in the United States to name their most recent beneficiary owners to law enforcement. US, which will provide the transparency needed to fight black money.

For Europe, it is important for the United States to return to the World Health Organization and global cooperation against the pandemic, to the Paris Agreement on climate change and to the joint nuclear deal on Iran.

US trade policy is a major chapter. The idea of ​​a US-European trade agreement could be revived eventually, but some quick fixes need to be made. The United States must remove it immediately fake “national security” tariffs about EU steel and aluminum imports. It must also re-establish full cooperation with the World Trade Organization. Ideally, it should opt for a free trade agreement with Europe, because Europe maintains significantly higher environmental and labor standards than the United States.

US policy on Europe must be guided by two fundamental ideas. One of them is we need to get back to normal with our closest allies. The other is that these measures can be implemented instantly by executive order.

Anders Aslund is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington. His latest book is “Russian Crony Capitalism: The Road from a Market Economy to a Kleptocracy”.

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