The Five challenges of Carter

According to US defence secretary Ash Carter:

  1. The return of great power competition with :
    • Russian aggression in Europe and
    • China’s rise threatening the stability of the Asia-Pacific region
  2. North Korea as a nuclear-armed rogue state.
  3. The continuing malign intentions of Iran despite the nuclear deal.
  4. The “tumour” of jihadist terrorism, above all in the form of ISIS, “metastasizing” around the world

source : The Economist


Baltic arms

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 13.24.14The Russian hawkishness coupled with its announced capability-building (20 trillion rubles /US $ 640 billion rearmament program) has fueled an arms rally in the Baltics.

Sweden launched a major naval upgrade program including the modernization of part of its submarines fleet and the acquisition of two A26-class stealthy subs for 2016-2024. This acquisition will cost about 1 $ billion and another $700 million will be spend for the upgrade of submarine hunter warships. In addition, Sweden is re-establishing permanent air, naval and fast reaction forces on Gotland Island, where it will be stationed Gripen jets, a support helicopter unit, submarine hunter ships and a rapid response Army battalion on the island.

Poland, on the other hand planing on buying 24 Tomahawk missiles from Raytheon, thus becoming the third country to operate these missiles, alongside the US and the UK. This acquisition is included in the country’s naval modernization strategy  with a cost of US $ 240 million per year by 2030.

source : DefenseNews, April 13, 1015

NabiullinaΣύμφωνα με τη διοικητή της κεντρικής ρωσικής τράπεζας, E. Nabiullina η πτώση των τιμών του πετρελαίου από τα επίπεδα των 100 δολαρίων το βαρέλι στα 45 δολάρια το βαρέλι έχει κοστίσει στη ρωσική οικονομία 160 δισ. δολάρια.

Πηγή :

US Defbudget restraints. Army Aviation take the lion’s share

  • US def_budgetFrom two major theater wars to several different small units in different continents
  • From 510.000 active duty soldiers and 37 BCTs in 2014 to 420.00 at the end of FY 2017.
  • «I am taking end strength out as fast as I possibly can: 20.000 soldiers a year” according to the Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno
  • For command and control a 100- to 120- person HQ for an international or multinational op.
  • Doubling down the presence west of the International Date line.
  • in the next 20 years conduct ops in megacities.
  • Operating in a mega city requires multi dimension (subsurface-cyber-air) warfare.
  • Under Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) the Army National guard would transfer all it’s Apache to the active component/
  • The Army will relinquish to the National Guard all it’s single-rotor helos. The manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) will be implemented (close operations of UASs and AH-64E).
  • Due to the sequestration “We’re going to continue to delay programs, so it’s going to take longer to modernize our aircraft: we are going to purchase less aircraft…so it’s going to delay it for 5 or 10 years.

source: IHS Jane’s DW, Oct 8. 14

Erdogan’s new sérail

turkish_Palace   Scheduled to be inaugurated at the 91st anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish republic on the 29th October, the new turkish presidential Palace, fits perfectly the description of an ottoman serail. The 1.000 ultralux room, $350 million edifice, in a neo-seljoukide style extends on 200.000 square meters in the middle of a forest (a real nightmare for the environmentalists!) created by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk  in the outskirts of the turkish capital.  It’s 7 times larger than the white house, 6 times the Palais de l’Élysée, nearly the size of the Kremlin and half the size of the Vatican.

   The palace constitutes one more of Erdogan’s “contributions” to the turkish republic. The third airport of Constantinople  will be named after it’s name. An university and a football stadium bare the name of the president. He is already making provision for his burial, ordering the construction of a giant mosque in Constantinople which ambitions to be visible from all the corners of the city.

   Vanity? megalomania? projection of force? or merely strong political planning?

sources: Le figaro, CNN

3 out of 28

     ewa-kopaczEwa Kopacz is likely to become the next Poland’s Prime Minister replacing Donald Tusk, who will move to Brussels as President of European Council on Dec. 1. Mrs Kopacz at the moment occupies the position of the Marshal of the Sejm (Lower House Speaker). She is also vice chairwoman of the Civic Platform, a liberal-conservative party, leading the ruling coalition in Poland.

    If Ewa ascents to the head of the Polish government, she will join Angela Merkel of Germany and Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark at the European Council (Heads of Government) table. 3 out of 28…We can do better I suppose.

Albania’s arms

     Albania AK_47Following an Albanian government decision, taken in the middle of August, the country will deliver armement to the Kurds fighting the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). On Aug 24. started the delivery of 10.000 Kalashnikov rifles, 22 million of 7,62 mm cartridges, 5.000 grenades and 32.000 pieces of ammunitions for rocket lunchers.

     Albania belongs to a group of States (Albania, Germany, Canada, Croatia and Denmark, Great Britain, France and Italie) that provide arms to the Kurds.



Kidnaped by his father to fight with IS

     ISPranvera Abazi, a kosovar mother of Erion, after a couple of worrisome days regarding the whereabouts of her husband and son, received july. 7. the following message from her husband ” I am in Syria with our son, I will contact you when I will have mobile coverage”. 

     According the UN Council of Human Rights report, published the Aug. 13. the Islamic State (IS), has constructed training camps, in order to recruit children for it’s armed groups, pretending to provide them education. IS created a facebook page untitled “Bring your boys to us”, in witch Erion is pictured smiling among other children of his age under the black IS banner.

     Kosovo authorities are estimating than between a 100 and 200 Kosovo Albanians have joined the rangs of IS in Syria and Iraq, 16 of them have been killed.

source :

Osman’s guns exports

  • turkish-mkek-rifleTurkey aims to reach $1,6 billion in arms exports in 2014, up 14,3%  from $1,4 billion in 2013.
  • It’s top export markets are the US, Gulf countries and Turkic republics in Central Asia but now targets South America and African Markets
  • African countries during the last decade doubled  their military expenditure (from $21 billions in 2003 to $44,9billions in 2013)
  • Two major Turkish defense companies Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Aselsan AS  have risen in the rank of the top 100 Defense Firms. TAI dropped for 85th to 80th while Aselsan from 74th to 60th. Aselsan works on the 65-ton Altay 3rd Generation MBT and TAI produces the T129 attack heli, the Anka MALE UAV and participates in the A400M consortium.


Top Arm-Sales-Woman

280x425DefenceNews magazine recently published the Top 100 defense firms. At the top of the list remains (by far) Lockheed Martin. At the top of the firm reigns a woman: Marillyn Hewson. Chairman, President and CEO, according to Forbes Magazine the  #21 most powerful woman in the world. Unquestionably an “Iron Woman”