Focus - Analysis - Photo report

According to Johannes Stern in World Socialist Web Site, Germany is playing an ever-greater role in NATO’s aggressive buildup against Russia, increasingly threatening a third world war. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (Social Democrats, SPD) on February 18 called for a rapid and massive increase in defense spending to prepare the German armed forces for a possible war against Russia. “The threatening situation on the borders of Ukraine has once again shown us very clearly how important an effective deterrent is unfortunately again today,” she explained to Der Spiegel. From this, Germany’s governing coalition must draw conclusions “for the financing of the German army.”

As explained by CEPA, greater European independence on defense and security — at least from France and at least in theory. In practice, this means getting serious about the development of credible capabilities. A starting point should be advancing Europe’s stalled multinational tank project by involving a new key player: Italy. Two researchers explain the topic: Andrea Arivella, a political advisor intern at NATO Allied Transformation Command - NATO ACT (Norfolk, VA, US), and Gabrielle Moran, the Executive Assistant to the Dean of the Center for Maritime Strategy (CMS).

According to a document issued by Vasyl Korotkyi, of Ukrinform, Ukrainian and American experts, as well as the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, warned that under the pretext of holding strategic exercises in Belarus, Russia may resort to a large-scale offensive against Ukraine. The Russian forces deployed at Ukraine's borders are estimated at about 120,000 soldiers - rising to 140,000 service personnel in total if the navy and air force are included. Army Recognition editorial team also has added the latest information according to Open-source published on the Internet. 

Joe Duggan reports in that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering deploying Royal Navy warships and RAF fighter jets to protect southeastern Europe as Russian troops mass on Ukraine’s borders. Vladimir Putin is assembling the “biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War”, the Prime Minister warned, as he cautioned Moscow against “inflicting still greater destruction and bloodshed” on Ukraine.

Daily Sabah, grounding its info from various sources, reports that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern Thursday (February 3) that Russia is continuing its military buildup around Ukraine, pointing that Moscow has now deployed more troops and military equipment to Belarus than at any time in the last 30 years.

Training in the cold, bitter Bavarian winter is something Polish Army officer 1st Lt. Jakub Szulczyk relishes – there’s nowhere else he’d rather be. As a company commander in 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, Szulczyk has been participating in Allied Spirit 22, a U.S. Army Europe and Africa directed, 7th Army Training Command conducted training exercise that is designed to develop and enhance NATO and key partner interoperability and readiness across specified warfighting functions. Capt. Alun Thomas reports on U.S. Army's website.

In a press release, the UK government writes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson considers the biggest possible offer to NATO and prepares to stand up UK Armed Forces to protect European allies facing Russian troops. The UK is expected to bolster its offer to NATO with a major military deployment to strengthen Europe’s borders in the face of rising Russian aggression. UK officials are deployed to Brussels to finalise the details of the offer with NATO, and ministers will discuss the military options.

The British Army is deploying its Sky Sabre air defense system on the disputed Falkland Islands (Malvinas, in Argentinian designation), a deployment against which Argentine is protesting. Indeed, the Falkland Islands, located in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, have been the subject of a territorial dispute between Argentina and Britain for 200 years. The Falkland Islands are a dependent territory of the UK and will remain so for as long as the Islanders wish them to, British Army’s website writes.

The Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic have achieved a unique opportunity to obtain modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) in two procurement programs. In addition to the fact that the Ministry of Defence plans to purchase 228 tracked armored vehicles, it also intends to purchase as many as 500 wheeled armored vehicles in different variants.

On January 1, 2022, France took the lead of NATO’s highest-readiness military force for a period of one year. The formation, formally known as NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), was created in 2014 in response to crises in the Middle East and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and is permanently available to move within days to defend any Ally. The VJTF is the highest-readiness element of NATO’s 40,000-strong Response Force.

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.