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On Sunday, Feb.2, French Defense Minister Florence Parly has confirmed what Gen. François Lecointre, Chief of General Staff (CEMA), had already announced on Jan.22: on top of the 220 troops already sent recently, France will deploy 600 more soldiers in the fight against Islamists militants in Africa’s Sahel, south of the Sahara.

Azerbaijan has ranked 52nd out of 137 countries in the Global Firepower list for 2019, Abdul Kerimkhanov reports on Azernews. Compared to 2018, Azerbaijan has raised one step, according to the ranking’s website. Azerbaijan’s military budget amounted to $710.5 million in 2019.

New research from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) suggests that China is the second-largest arms producer in the world, behind the United States but ahead of Russia. This research represents the most comprehensive picture of Chinese companies’ weapons production to date.

The Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) achieved initial operational capability on 17 September 2019. An important part of NATO’s increased deterrence and defense in response to a changing security environment, it will help to speed up, coordinate and safeguard the movement of Allied forces and equipment across European borders. Sergei Boeke elaborates in NATO Review.

The National Defense Strategy describes how the Defense Department will be postured to be successful in the great power competition with Russia and China, the Army chief of staff said. In two words, the National Defense Strategy is to be strong and innovative in order to deter conflict or to win if diplomacy and deterrence fail, Army Gen. James C. McConville said. David Vergun, Defense.gov, reports on U.S. Army’s website.

On January 14, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper hosted Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono at the Pentagon, where they reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and reflected on its evolution since the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security sixty years ago.

NATO nations cannot afford to become complacent, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said during a break in his first alliance Military Committee meeting in Brussels. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley said people need to remember why NATO began in 1949. Jim Garamone reports on DoD News.

The United States must maintain overmatch — be stronger, better armed, or more skillful than its adversaries, the Army secretary said at the Brooking Institution in Washington. Ryan D. McCarthy addressed Indo-Pacific region Army strategy at the nonprofit public policy organization today. "Our modernization focus — how we fight, what we fight with and who we are — is in part driven by new challenges and potential adversaries," he said. Terrri Moon Cronk reports on DoD News.

Russia’s 2019 defense budget reached USD48 billion. Russia is reported to be at the 8th position in the Top 10 list of the countries with the largest defense expenditures in 2019. Compared to 2018, Russia retained its place, increased defense budget by only USD1 billion.

Military and civilian dignitaries from Europe and the United States were in Belgium on Sunday 15 and Monday 16 December to mark the anniversary of one of the most important battles of World War II: the Battle of the Bulge. "There are times we must say, 'No,'" King Philippe of Belgium said in Bastogne, Belgium. "'No' to the extreme evil perpetrated by a hateful ideology. This is what we did together 75 years ago." The Belgian people remember their American liberators, the king said, pointing to six veterans of the battle who were attending the ceremony. Jim Garamone reports on Defense.gov.

On 16 December, the European Defence Agency published its annual Defence Data report for the year 2018, detailing spending by the 27 EDA Member States. Total defence expenditure stands at €223 billion, representing a 3% increase on 2017 and marks the fifth consecutive year of increased defence spending. EDA’s report also finds that Member States are not meeting spending commitments in key areas.

South Korea and North Korea increase the size and accelerate the pace of modernization of their arsenals in the framework of rising tensions between both countries and with the U.S.A., as easily foreseeable by anybody having a basic understanding of intelligence interpretation.

Even if the report used for the following analysis is more than one year old, its content makes it a remarkable instrument to understand the Russian defense evolution in terms of technical feasibility and financial affordability. Since then, Army Recognition published a lot of information enabling to validate this precious analysis that was carried on by Julian Cooper, Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies, University of Birmingham/Associate Senior Fellow, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Extracts of his report addressing Army Recognition’s concerns have been selected hereunder.

“The Marine Corps is not optimized to meet the bold demands of the National Defense Strategy”, Gen. David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps Headquarters, has declared. “While our ranks are filled with phenomenal marines — warriors who are smarter and more adaptable than ever — the design of our force, how we organize for combat, our equipment, and our warfighting capabilities, are no longer aligned to the potential adversaries America faces. My number one priority as commandant of the Marine Corps is to design a force suited to the reality of the pacing threat as prescribed by the National Defense Strategy”.

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