While NATO and the EU will remain joint protectors of Europe for the foreseeable future, the EU is largely united in a desire to build new military infrastructure across the continent. There is not yet consensus on the scope of that military ambition, but the direction of travel towards an EU defence force seems clearer now than at any point in the EU’s history.
Political and security risk updates from around the world. This week: Munich Security Conference focusses on US commitment to NATO and threats to EU’s collective security; Iraq launches military offensive to retake western Mosul from Islamic State; Left-wing candidate set to win Ecuador’s presidential election; and more.
Open Briefing has produced a series of monthly intelligence briefings on remote warfare since April 2014. Periodically, we undertake a more in-depth assessment of the trends in remote warfare. This current report sets out the findings of the third such assessment. A key theme of this assessment is the adoption of remote warfare by state and non-state actors beyond the United States and its Western allies.
Monthly briefing from the Open Briefing intelligence unit on developments in remote-control warfare. This month: NATO designates cyberspace as an operational domain and includes cyber attacks in Article 5; newly-released official estimates of casualties from US drone strikes step in right direction but too limited; Iraqi special forces play critical role retaking Fallujah from Islamic State; and more.
Political and security risk updates from around the world. This week: UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea rules on dispute between Philippines and China over latter’s claims to South China Sea; long-awaited Iraq Inquiry report finally published and leads to fresh calls for former British prime minster Tony Blair to face legal action over his role in Iraq war; opposition fighters launch attack on government-held districts in Aleppo, Syria, after government forces cut their last supply route into city; and more.
In the build up to the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, some advocates for leaving the EU have argued that Britain’s security is better met by its membership of NATO rather than the European Union. In reality, the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU gives it diplomatic leverage and law enforcement mechanisms that it would not have on it own as well as military cooperation beyond that possible within NATO. While NATO remains somewhat of a ‘solution looking for a problem’, the EU takes a broad political, economic and military approach to security that is in keeping with our own approach and is well-suited to the interconnected security threats of the 21st century.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has overturned the ban on special forces night raids. There is acute awareness of Afghan public opposition to night raids and the danger that the policy reversal may expose Ghani to some future political attacks. However, the fact that Ghani and the White House are willing to stir up negative public sentiment during a politically fragile period may give some indication of the seriousness with which they are taking the threat posed by a resurgence in Taliban activity.
This handbook from Open Briefing provides an in-depth look at the ongoing transformation of Russia’s airborne forces, together with a strategic order of battle that details personnel and equipment levels for each of Russia’s four airborne divisions, four independent air assault brigades, Spetsnaz regiment, headquarters units and training division. As such, it represents the most detailed open source intelligence on Russia’s airborne forces available today.