Line Now Blurred Between Peace And War, Says NATO Secretary General On Visit To U.S.

Pamela Hurt, Forecast International.

A day after meeting with President Trump at the White House, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg discussed the unique challenges of a time when the line between peace and war is increasingly unclear.

“Before, it was easy to distinguish whether it was war or peace,” the Secretary General stated, during a talk on Thursday, at George Washington University. Now “there is a much more blurred line between peace and war,” he said, observing that in past conflicts, war occurred in identifiable geographical areas, and within defined periods of time.

That clarity is now often absent.

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Poland Leaning Towards Patriot Buy But Hurdles Remain

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Patriot launch. Source: Raytheon

On March 31, Polish Minister of Defense Antoni Macierewicz announced the submission of a revised request for information (RFI) to the U.S. government concerning the potential buy of eight Raytheon-produced Patriot air-and-missile defense batteries to fulfill the Wisla program requirement. Continue reading

Greece Aims for F-16 Upgrade, but F-35 Plans Remain a Pipe Dream

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

F-16V
Source: Lockheed Martin

The Hellenic Defense Ministry announced on February 7 that Greece intends to move forward on an upgrade to its large inventory of F-16C/D combat aircraft and begin exploring a future purchase of the new-generation F-35 from the U.S.

The first project represents a much-needed focus on deteriorating Greek military capabilities in the air-sea domain, while the second remains an over-the-horizon dream nowhere remotely near Athens’ current fiscal reality. Continue reading

RUAG Expands into Cybersecurity

by Richard Pettibone, Aerospace & Defense Companies Analyst, Forecast International.

Not content to remain idle, RUAG has expanded the scope of its defense operations with a new focus on cybersecurity.

Over the past year, the company has initiated a strategy that will rapidly expand its presence in the growing cybersecurity market.  As part of this effort, RUAG established a dedicated Cyber Security business unit and plans to invest “multiple millions of Swiss francs over the next few years.” Continue reading

Serbia’s Soviet-Legacy Military Rearmament Project Gets New Supplier

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

MiG-29

In an interesting twist to the long-expected Serbian acquisition of a batch of MiG-29 combat aircraft and Russian-designed missile systems, Serbia’s defense minister, Zoran Djordjevic, has announced that both military platforms will be donated from Belarus. Continue reading

Poland’s Legislature Backs 2017 Defense Earmark

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Flag of Poland

Poland’s defense allocation for fiscal year 2017 received approval from the country’s highest legislative body on January 4. The defense oversight element, the Senate National Defense Commission, remarked positively on the planned PLN37.152 billion ($9 billion) military budget, which represents a 3.4 percent year-on-year nominal increase from 2016. Continue reading

Kazakhstan Plays Mediator for Middle East Conflicts

 by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russian President Vladimir Putin,
at a recent CSTO meeting in St. Petersburg.
Source: Russian Presidency website

Starting with the decision in the mid-1990s to relinquish its inherited nuclear arsenal, Kazakhstan has maneuvered itself on the international stage as a responsible global player. That decision, which saw Kazakhstan return Soviet nuclear weapons to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, may have been made for a number of reasons, but Astana regularly points to it as an indicator of Kazakhstan being a positive international force. Continue reading

Estonia Earmarks 2.2 Percent of GDP for Defense under 2017 Budget

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Flag of Estonia

Under the Estonian government’s 2017 budget, recently has passed by the Parliament, topline defense spending will reach a record high. The FY17 state budget will see government expenditures climb by 7.6 percent year-on-year, with defense receiving a 5.8 percent boost to bring military spending up to EUR477 million ($498 million). More importantly, the uptick in military-related spending will increase the defense budget to 2.2 percent of GDP – above the symbolic 2 percent of GDP minimum threshold required of its members by the NATO Alliance.  Continue reading

Cash-Strapped Serbia Eyes Russian Military Hardware – But Its Future Lies Westward

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Flag of Serbia

Flag of Serbia

The much-neglected Serbian armed forces are in need of an equipment overhaul, and the government is betting on Russia to be its provider. The two countries have a centuries-old friendship rooted in ethnic, religious, and political ties. More importantly, Russia has stood in Serbia’s corner over such issues as the 1999 Kosovo War between the Serbia-led Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and NATO and the postwar declaration of independence by the Kosovar Albanian government in February 2008. Continue reading

MiG Engine Buy Exemplifies Bulgaria’s Cognitive Dissonance Vis-a-Vis Moscow

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Bulgarian MiG-29s are slated for phase out.

Bulgarian MiG-29.

In an effort to resuscitate its dilapidated and obsolete fleet of MiG-29 Fulcrum combat aircraft, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry has reached out to an unnamed Russian company (likely RSK MiG) for the acquisition of up to 10 repaired fighter engines. Continue reading