NATO Military Mobility in Europe Remains Key Focus of Alliance

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

With deterrence against a Russian incursion along its Baltic flank a paramount strategic concern of NATO, military mobility has emerged as a key Alliance focus over the past several years. Issues related to rail and roadway sovereignty across national borders, diplomatic notices, environmental concerns, bridge and tunnel heights, railcar and custom regulations, plus others, all combine to slow down west-to-east military resupply and reinforcement capabilities.[i] Continue reading

Merkel’s Comments Bring Germany’s Defense Budget Clash Under the Microscope

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

Following the move by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 8 to declare that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear deal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated – for the second time in a year – that Europe can no longer count on the United States for its protection.  Continue reading

Latest Report Reaffirms Germany’s Lack of Military Readiness

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

Eurofighter Typhoon

Typhoon Fitted with Brimstone
Source: Eurofighter GmbH

For a country seeking to address its operational readiness issues and enhance the service availability of existing hardware, Germany faces a high hurdle in the airpower domain. Continue reading

Russian President Signs New State Armaments Program

by Derek Bisaccio, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) in 2015.  Source: Russian Ministry of Defense

The document detailing the new Russian State Armaments Program (SAP), covering the years 2018 to 2027, has been signed, according to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin, who spoke to Kommersant in an interview in late February. In this timeframe, Russia will spend over $300 billion on the procurement of new military hardware as part of an effort to equip its forces with modern systems. Continue reading

As Fighter Pressures Mount, Bulgaria Seeks Offer from Boeing for Super Hornet

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

F/A-18 Super Hornet

As Bulgaria prepares to relaunch a tender seeking new combat aircraft to replace its Air Force’s small inventory of 1980s-vintage MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov has indicated via state-run radio that his ministry will be requesting an offer from Boeing for its F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighter. Continue reading

EU Taking Steps to Bring Harmony to Its Discordant Defense Market

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

After years of talk with little to show for it, the governments of Europe are finally moving forward with long-held cooperative defense ambitions through the auspices of the European Union. The announcement by the EU on June 7 of a European Defense Industrial Program co-financed by members to the tune of EUR500-EUR590 million annually through 2020, thereafter growing to EUR1-EUR1.5 billion annually, marks the launch of an effort to bring commonality and unity to an otherwise fragmented market. Continue reading

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.

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

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