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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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

With the U.S. Election in the Rear View, Is It Time to Worry in Eastern Europe?

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

US Flag

The U.S. election has been decided and, contrary to the overwhelming predictions by the establishment media and pollsters, Republican candidate Donald Trump will be the country’s next president.

The question for America’s European partners now becomes, what will happen to their relationship with the U.S. under a Trump administration?  Continue reading

Norway’s New Long-Term Defense Plan Focuses on Military Readiness with One Eye on Russia

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

F-35A Weapons Carriage (Lockheed Martin Photo by Matt Short)

Norway will purchase 52 F-35A’s (Lockheed Martin Photo by Matt Short)

Norway’s center-right, government-led Ministry of Defense unveiled the country’s latest long-term defense plan (titled “Capable and Sustainable”) on June 17.  The new LTDP follows the previous iteration published in 2012 by the former Red-Green (center-left) government of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, which drafted the plan during a period when the greater European security environment had yet to be upset by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further destabilization activities in eastern Ukraine. Continue reading

Egypt Receives First Mistral Vessel

By Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

The two Egyptian Mistral vessels in France. Source: DCNS

The two Egyptian Mistral vessels in France. Source: DCNS

On June 2, Egypt received the first of its two Mistral helicopter carrier vessels, constructed by French shipbuilder DCNS. The ship, named for Egypt’s late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, is partaking in exercises with the French Navy prior to setting sail for Alexandria. Continue reading

Is Europe Reviving Defense as a Policy Priority? It Depends Upon Geography

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

European_flag_in_Karlskrona_2011

European Flag. Photo credit: Wikipedia, MPD01605

As the crisis in Ukraine unfolded in 2014, risk perceptions stirred across the European continent. Defense policy reassessments and heightened security footing skewed depending on geography, but across Europe in general there was a sense of renewed threat emanating from Russia. Continue reading

Romania to Seek Another Batch of F-16s in 2017

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

F-16 Fighting Falcon

F-16 Fighting Falcon

In an ongoing quest to replace its badly aging fleet of Warsaw Pact-era MiG-21 Lancer fighter aircraft, Romania continues to scour the secondhand market for an additional batch of F-16s with which to bolster its incoming stock of ex-Portuguese fighters. Continue reading

Hungary Swims against NATO Tide, Seeks Russian Helicopters

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

Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter.

Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter.

As tensions between Moscow and the West persist nearly two years after Moscow’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, the trend among Eastern European nations that are members of the NATO Alliance has been to move away from Russian-sourced military hardware. Most of these former Warsaw Pact states are seeking to retire their aging and obsolete Soviet-vintage equipment and replace such materiel with NATO-standard, Western-produced hardware. Continue reading

Prioritization of Defense in Europe Depends upon Geography

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

European_flag_in_Karlskrona_2011As the crisis in Ukraine unfolded in 2014, risk perceptions stirred across the European continent. Defense policy reassessments skewed depending on geography, but across Europe, there was a sense of renewed threat emanating from Russia.

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Deficit-Conscious Government to Trim Britain’s Defense Budget by 1.5 Percent

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

British-Flag-Retro-WallpapersThe surprising triumph of the Conservative Party in the British elections last May certainly did not herald a new dawn for defense in any definitive sense. Instead, heading down the stretch of the election season it was becoming ever more apparent that regardless of which party emerged triumphant, a reckoning over defense spending loomed.
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