Focus - Analysis - Photo report

According to the Jakarta Post, Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto held a string of meetings with chiefs of staff from the Indonesian Military (TNI) earlier this week to discuss plans to modernize the country’s primary weaponry system.

According to Murtala Abdullahi in HumanAngleMedia, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed the national budget for the fiscal year 2022, which allocates over N1 trillion for defense operations, procurement and upgrade of capabilities, and infrastructure. The defence sector budget appropriation alongside funding for other security actors in the country was approved as part of the N17.126 trillion “Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability” signed into law on Dec. 31, 2021 by the President.

As Laurent Lagneau writes in Zone Militaire (opex360), when Russia says it wants the end of NATO's enlargement at its borders, Russia is aiming first at Ukraine and Georgia, two formerly member countries of the USSR, but also to Finland, a country which, as an autonomous Grand Duchy, was under its control between 1809 and 1917 and with which it shares a 1,300 km long border.

According to Bryan Betts of the MDAA (Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance), the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has approved a record defense budget of $47.2 billion (5.4 trillion yen) for fiscal year 2022, earmarking more than a billion dollars to buttress missile defense capabilities, in particular against threats from North Korea.

As reported by Liu Xuanzun, Fan Anqi and Bai Yunyi in Global Times, China has no plan to drastically expand its nuclear arsenal but will continue to modernize it under the changing security environment, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday, January 4, in response to recent foreign reports that have been speculating and hyping China’s nuclear weapon development, including those on the alleged missile silo buildups in Northwest China and the alleged hypersonic tests.

According to Shreya Mundhra in the EurAsian Times, Japan has recently been making headlines regarding its increasing Defense budget amid growing tensions with China. The most recent development is that Tokyo is planning to earmark its biggest five-year Defense budget from the fiscal year 2023 to top $264 billion (30 trillion yen) for the first time.

It is difficult to imagine a modern army without unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The engagement tactic is constantly updated. Swarms of drones are used to attack one major target. They can comprise hundreds of small and cheap drones. Hence, the upgraded Pantsir-S1M air defense system can fight all types of drones. The latest Russian drone designs will fight small, but very dangerous targets.

On December 6, the European Defence Agency (EDA) published its annual Defence Data report for 2019-2020, detailing defence spending by the 26 EDA Member States. In 2020, total defence spending stood at €198 billion, marking a further 5% increase on 2019, and making it the highest level ever recorded by EDA since it began collecting data in 2006. EDA’s report also finds that 19 Member States increased their overall defence spending in 2020, with 6 raising spending by over 10%.

The Russian Airborne Forces held over 3,000 combat training events in 2021, Deputy Commander of the forces Major-General Anatoly Kontsevoi told the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper: “It is possible to say that all the tasks have been fulfilled with good quality and in a full volume this year. Over three thousand combat training events, including over 2.5 thousand live-fire drills and tactical exercises were held. It is above the last year's level,” he said.

According to its website, the British Army has announced further details of Future Soldier, its most radical programme of transformation in over 20 years. Launched as part of the Government’s Integrated Review in March 2021, Future Soldier outlines how the Army will be organised and structured in the future and how it will deal with emerging threats across the world.

Since the publication of the “Vision 2030” in 2016, on the basis of analyzes carried out in 2014 and 2015, international tensions have increased and the pace of strategic changes has accelerated. In December 2020, the Belgian Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder, mandated Colonel Eric Kalajzic (IRSD) and Tanguy Struye de Swielande (UCLouvain) to formulate recommendations in order to update the strategic vision of 2016. They selected ten academics, respecting the linguistic, gender and academic balance.

According to Yang Sheng and Leng Shumei in Global Times, Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged efforts to break new ground in the development of the country's military weaponry and equipment, and contribute to the realization of the goals set for the centennial of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the Xinhua News Agency reported on Octoberv26. Xi, chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks at a military conference on weaponry and equipment-related work, which was held in Beijing on October 25 and 26.

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.