Security and Defence

Posts on security and defence

The ‘cyber’ priorities among the MENA States

In the context of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, access to cyberspace by states and societies poses risks to security across systems, services and infrastructure. Despite measurable progress in this regard, that is to say, in securing both undisturbed access to and use of the cyberspace, [...]

Aerial international military cooperation: trust and transparency?

From time to time, United States’ foreign policy is put under strain, but the produced noise is never heard beyond Washington, D.C. In October 2019, Eliot Engel, Democrat representative for New York and House Foreign Affairs Committee chair, sent a letter to Robert O’Brien, National Security Adviser, in which [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Ending Zero-Zero under China’s shadow

The signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) by the US and the Soviet Union in 1987 marked the beginning of a new era and the end of the Cold War. It was the means whereby Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev renounced (zero on each side) an entire [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Space forces

The Trump Administration’s decision to create a new branch of the US military, the Space Force, the sixth of its armed forces, is more a matter of organisation than of content. But it is another policy announcement in line with America First, asserting the primacy of the US in [...]

Military outsourcing and the respect for International Humanitarian Law: the Montreux Document and ICoCA

Privatization of armed conflicts has spread over these two last decades and, with it, stakeholders involved. Armed forces’ externalization and military outsourcing in the aftermath of the so-called “overall fight against terrorism” led to a series of intergovernmental meetings which, with the support of a network of experts on [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The narrowing gap between nuclear and conventional weapons

The nuclear arms issue is back, in its strategic rather than its tactical or battlefield dimension. And not only in North Korea. Russia has deployed Iskander missiles (known as SS-26 in NATO-speak) capable of carrying nuclear payloads (whether they do in fact carry them is unknown) in the enclave [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega A 360º NATO, but without Article 5?

NATO does not like referring to fronts, because this would imply enemies. It prefers everything to be a matter of flanks: the Eastern flank (bordering Russia) and the Southern flank. But this has been superseded too. It is obsolete terminology and now there is talk of a 360º NATO, [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Foreign cyber-meddling in domestic elections

A great deal of noise, and some deeds, underlie the alleged Russian meddling in favour of Donald Trump in the recent US presidential election. The President-elect, unlike the intelligence services and the outgoing President, no longer affirms that there is no proof at all of such an incursion, but [...]

Contacto | Aviso legal y política de privacidad

2012-2020, Real Instituto Elcano - Elcano Royal Institute | Príncipe de Vergara, 51. 28006 Madrid (España - Spain) | Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0