Security and Defence

Posts on security and defence

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 But this has been superseded too. It is obsolete terminology and now there is talk of a 360º NATO, [...]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 [...]

NATO and the EU: finally, in a common-law marriage

They have been living together in Brussels since 1966, but with their backs to each other, as though ‘on different planets’, as the President of the European Council Donald Tusk put it. The recent crises and threats, their complementary nature in a world in which nothing is entirely resolved [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Morón Air Base: strategic interests and the culture of security

Spain, essentially because of its geographical positions and its good relations, has become an essential element for the projection of US military power in the present day. It is no longer merely a flank, as in the days of the Cold War, nor a rear-guard area, but a major [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega What did NATO promise Gorbachev?

Some in Russia maintain that the West promised there would be no NATO expansion eastwards, even towards what was soon to be the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), in exchange for accepting German unification. The West, particularly the US, maintains there was no such commitment. Which is true? It [...]

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