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Defence and Security is the Academy’s blog and forum for debate.

by Stefan Forss [1]

Former US Secretary of Defense William Perry (WP) and former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff General James Cartwright recently presented important views about US nuclear policy in the Washington Post. Their main point is that the USA should abandon the Ground-based Strategic Deterrent program to replace ICBMs, and also forgo development of a new long-range strategic cruise missile, the Long-Range Standoff weapon, LRSO. They want, however, to preserve the sea-based strategic deterrent and the new strategic stealth B-21 Raider bomber program in a dual-capable role, including the B61-12 variable yield nuclear bomb. [continue reading…]

Military Mass is Back

By Jyri Raitasalo [1]

Mass/ numbers is not an obsolete factor in todays wars. Foto: Joel Thungren, Försvarsmakten/ Combat Camera.

Mass/ numbers is not an obsolete factor in todays wars. Foto: Joel Thungren, Försvarsmakten/ Combat Camera.

During the last 20 years, western militaries have followed a transformational agenda. Ever since the early 1990s military “overweight” has been shed as direct military threats to western security and strategic interests evaporated. During the post-Cold War era – and relying on the so-called “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA) – military transformation became a tool to redefine war and the guidelines of developing national armed forces within the West. Trashing Army Corps, Divisions and Brigades, slashing fighter jets and Navy vessels and reducing military manpower by the millions, western militaries – particularly in Europe – have become more usable, but less resilient and capable to operate according to the demands of large-scale high-intensity warfighting. This is particularly true if one takes the rising military capabilities of China and Russia as a yardstick. [continue reading…]

by Jyri Raitasalo

According to the mainstream western strategic narrative, Russia has since 2014 erected multiple Anti-Access Area Denial (A2AD) exclusion zones or “bubbles” around Europe and the Middle-East. These bubbles supposedly hinder or even prevent western military action and troop deployments during a potential military crisis between the West (read: NATO) and Russia. Symbols of this new Russian A2AD policy can be found in modern long-range weapon-systems like the S-400 Triumf long-range surface to air missile system, SS-26 Stone (aka Iskander) short range ballistic missile system or the K-300P (aka Bastion-P) mobile coastal missile system. [continue reading…]

by Stefan Forss [1]

It may be too late to save the INF Treaty, Brookings Senior Fellow, Ambassador Steven Pifer stated recently. “From bases in western Russia, nuclear-armed Russian SSC-8 GLCMs could target Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Rome, Athens, Ankara, and even Paris and London”, he wrote and suggested that Washington “should seek to raise the political heat on the Kremlin by making the missile an issue between Russia and the countries that the missile will threaten”.

The U.S. government is expected to formulate its position regarding this issue soon. “An American decision to withdraw from the treaty, known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or I.N.F., would be disastrous”, The New York Times observed correctly on April 3, 2017.

The issue is, however, much more serious than just a treaty breach caused by an odd, yet to be disclosed Russian land-based long-range cruise missile. When bits and pieces are added together the full picture looks serious. Russia is, in fact restoring the capabilities that were lost after implementation of the INF Treaty, consisting of a complete battery of various ballistic and cruise missiles, while the West has practically nothing to counterbalance this asymmetry. Welcome back to the 1970s. [continue reading…]

by Michael Sahlin

April 16 2017 will be one of the most important, decisive days in the history of the Turkish Republic, the day when the Turkish people will decide, by simple majority in a crucial referendum, whether to say yes or no to Turkey as a liberal democracy, with long-term implications for the country´s standing in the international security system. [continue reading…]

av Robert Dalsjö [1]

The current turmoil in world affairs is not chaos, but the combined result of pendulum-swings in the realm of ideas, old grudges, and the very material matter of military superiority.

10 or 15 years ago many people in the West thought that history was over and Eternal Peace had broken out.[2] Since the West and the liberal market economies had won the Cold War, and furthermore demonstrated their total military superiority in the Gulf war, the risk of major war was behind us. The world had become unipolar and optimism reigned supreme – nobody would dare to challenge the only remaining superpower, or the wider Western community. Like Superman, he would hold the villains in check, until they mended their ways and became useful members of the community. [continue reading…]