While the world’s gaze is focused on Ukraine and the Baltics as key locations of Russia’s challenge to the West, the real risk lies in Kosovo. It is where President Vladimir Putin imagines that the Western humiliation of Russia began.
The Ministry of Defence recently allocated £7.6 million to a ‘soft kill’ active protection system for armoured vehicles, being tested by QinetiQ. This article examines the potential place of such capabilities within the armoured concepts outlined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Kazakhstan, the newest member of the UN Security Council, faces a difficult test. It must balance relations with its two powerful neighbours – Russia and China – while maintaining sovereignty and also engaging with several partners.
Obama's declaratory policy on Iran involves a fine balancing act that is designed for multiple audiences: a recalcitrant Iranian regime, a domestic population about to go to the polls, and a jittery Middle Eastern region led by Israel. Though this strategy has thus far been successful, it carries notable risks for the Administration in the midst of a continuing standoff with Iran.
President-elect Putin has been ushered into power on a promise of furthering Russia's hard-nosed attitude towards the West. Central to Putin's stance is continued Russian reticence towards NATO's plans for Ballistic Missile Defence. A stand-off ensues where Russian insistence on guarantees will be hard to meet.
As the full ramifications of the austerity measures become clear, the UK may be reconsidering the choice of F-35 variant which it will buy under its Joint Combat Aircraft programme. For costs and operational reasons, Variant B is the logical choice.