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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.

World military expenditure in 2020 is estimated to have been $1981 billion, the highest level since 1988—the earliest year for which SIPRI has a consistent estimate for total global military spending. Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Dr Nan Tian and Alexandra Marksteiner, researchers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), present their analysis.

A new reform is taking place in the Russian Airborne Forces. Air assault and paratrooper units have to meet the requirements of modern armed conflicts to the maximum. The Airborne Forces are creating units of a new type, commando detachments and companies, drone and electronic warfare units. Paratroopers will soon enjoy fire support of their own artillery brigade and a helicopter brigade, the Independent Military Review writes.

A new reform is taking place in the Russian Airborne Forces. Air assault and paratrooper units have to meet the requirements of modern armed conflicts to the maximum. The Airborne Forces are creating units of a new type, commando detachments and companies, drone and electronic warfare units. Paratroopers will soon enjoy fire support of their own artillery brigade and a helicopter brigade, the Independent Military Review writes.

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