With the situation in the Middle East and Eastern Europe providing changing perceptions of how modern conflict can unfold, RUSI Research Fellow Peter Quentin predicts that 2017 will see a series of uncomfortable challenges for military leaders as they are forced to address how the military, and land forces in particular, can provide decisive effect on the ground, not just preventing conflict but...
The Obama Administration has announced a shift in emphasis for missile defence capabilities away from Europe to the US mainland. While this could help allay Russian concerns about the NATO system, Moscow's leaders may require more confidence-building measures.
UK defence spending was further squeezed in the 2013 Budget announcement. It is likely to face additional cuts for 2015/16 in the 2015 Spending Review. The defence budget for subsequent years may depend on how the 2015 Spending Review shares the burden of future austerity between expenditure cuts and tax rises.
For nearly a year US political leaders have been fighting over the federal budget. By 1 March they must either reach a deal or implement automatic and deep cuts drastically affecting the running of the military and the defence industry which it procures from.
As the UK sends 330 personnel to assist France's military intervention in Mali, there are real concerns that, like Afghanistan, the UK will be mired in another intractable conflict. However, the strategic conditions are very different for this to happen and it is wrong to assume there will be mission creep.
With US women now being allowed to participate in combat roles, the US military can be applauded for its move towards gender equality. But its driving imperative must remain a commitment to military effectiveness, and to the lives of the men and women who serve.