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Twenty years of US-led international military presence in Afghanistan ended on 30 August 2021, with the withdrawal of the last foreign forces. Since 2001, significant numbers of major arms had been delivered to bolster the Afghan military and security forces, in the expectation that they would eventually be able to maintain security and suppress the Taliban insurgency without international support. It ended in a dramatic failure.

The Russian military has maintained its air defense capabilities in the Arctic in recent years: S-400 (SA-21 Growler) air defense systems (ADSs), Tor-M2DT (SA-15 Gauntlet) surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, and other platforms have been deployed across the region, and the servicemen intensively use them during various exercises.

Despite the U.S. Army’s primary focus on land, leveraging the maritime domain in the Indo-Pacific can still have lasting effects, the deputy commander of U.S. Army Pacific said last week. Maritime operations can range from high-end military conflict to protecting sovereign territories from economic incursion, said Maj. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga. “The maritime domain awareness challenge is something the Army and the land components need to address seriously for the collective group of individual nations, armies and the land components,” he added. Thomas Brading, Army News Service, reports.

The future of warfare will dictate how special operations forces operate, Army Gen. Richard Clarke, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, said on May 25 : warfare "is going to be multi-domain, it's going to be partnered. And it's going to be contested in every step," he told the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa. "Our goal is to maintain a strategic advantage." Jim Garamone reports.

World military expenditure in 2020 is estimated to have been $1981 billion, the highest level since 1988—the earliest year for which SIPRI has a consistent estimate for total global military spending. Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Dr Nan Tian and Alexandra Marksteiner, researchers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), present their analysis.

A new reform is taking place in the Russian Airborne Forces. Air assault and paratrooper units have to meet the requirements of modern armed conflicts to the maximum. The Airborne Forces are creating units of a new type, commando detachments and companies, drone and electronic warfare units. Paratroopers will soon enjoy fire support of their own artillery brigade and a helicopter brigade, the Independent Military Review writes.

A new reform is taking place in the Russian Airborne Forces. Air assault and paratrooper units have to meet the requirements of modern armed conflicts to the maximum. The Airborne Forces are creating units of a new type, commando detachments and companies, drone and electronic warfare units. Paratroopers will soon enjoy fire support of their own artillery brigade and a helicopter brigade, the Independent Military Review writes.

The UK Defence Security and Industry Strategy (DSIS) builds on the outcomes of the Integrated Review and the Defence Command Paper. DSIS provides the framework to work with industry, drive innovation and improve productivity to ensure the UK continues to have a world-class defence industry to underpin national security and drive prosperity and levelling up across the UK.

The U.S. Army is currently conducting a gap analysis as part of its new Arctic strategy to identify if any new equipment or training sites will be needed or expanded to prepare Soldiers for upcoming missions in extreme cold weather. Sean Kimmons, Army News Service, reports.

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On March 15, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPRI) issued a new report on global arms transfers. It shows that international transfers of major arms stayed at the same level between 2011–15 and 2016–20. Substantial increases in transfers by three of the top five arms exporters—the USA, France and Germany—were largely offset by declining Russian and Chinese arms exports. Middle Eastern arms imports grew by 25 percent in the period, driven chiefly by Saudi Arabia (+61 percent), Egypt (+136 percent) and Qatar (+361 percent).

When Chinese military leaders visited a U.S. military post in 2012, Maj. Gen. Ross Coffman recalled that they were shocked to see what the Army could do. “I saw it in their eyes,” said Coffman, now the director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team. “They didn’t believe our capability. I think deep down that put a fear in them that they had to modernize.” Sean Kimmons, Army News Service, reports.

The military activities are changing due to high-tech arms and hardware in the leading world armies. They change the character, structure and contents of the armed struggle. The main vectors of the changes include information technologies and asymmetric actions of the opposing parties. Reconnaissance is a major type of combat provision and has reached a development threshold, Colonel PhD Military Science Ye. Bezsudnov and Lieutenant-Colonel R. Gafarov write in the Voennaya Mysl (Military Thought) journal.

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