After twelve years (from 1998 to 2010) when the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) suffered from a dearth of regular defence reviews, it is now in danger of having too many. The current review will soon become one of the longest in modern times. Yet, any conclusions that it might be able to reach before the end of this year could soon be revisited as part of a post-Brexit Spending Review in 2019.
The EU is trying to transition from its perceived status as a ‘soft power’ actor in defence, focussing on civilian crisis management and regulation of the European defence market, to a mix of soft and hard power to enable its ‘strategic autonomy’. However, the inability of the EU to clearly define its criteria for strategic autonomy has the potential to affect not only this ambition, but also the...
A new version of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy (also known as CONTEST), was unveiled earlier this month. Of the four strands comprising CONTEST, it is the Prevent strand, preventing individuals from becoming terrorists and supporting terrorism, that elicits the strongest reaction from different sections of British society.
Increasing tension over Nord Stream II puts the spotlight on a West that still lacks unity or a clear policy towards Russia. The divisions over the project are adding to bitterness within the EU and the transatlantic relationship, and benefiting Moscow.