Emirati Regional Military Footprint Continues to Grow

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Emirati BMP-3 during Joint U.S.-UAE Military Exercise in Kuwait in September 2016
Source: U.S. Army

“The Federation preserves our identity and enhances our capabilities.  It is a strong shield for protecting the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf Region.” – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Emir of Abu Dhabi

Amid the instability in the Middle East that followed the 2010 and 2011 protest movements, as well as a perceived vacuum as the United States asserts a desire to extricate itself from Middle Eastern conflicts, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has seen a growing need to put its military to use securing regional interests. Continue reading

Gulf Allies See Friend in Trump Administration

by Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud walk along the West Colonnade of the White House in March 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s first 100 days saw a flurry of activity on both the domestic and foreign fronts as the new president seeks to address what he sees as the policy shortcomings of his predecessor and enact the pledges he made on the campaign trail. These efforts have at times prompted bipartisan support while at other times drawn fierce condemnation from the opposition Democratic Party and even his own Republican Party. Continue reading

Japan’s Lower House Passes Defense Bills Amidst Protest, Shifting Regional Security Environment

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

Japan FlagTwo security bills that passed in the lower house of Japan’s legislature, the National Diet, on July 16 elicited a strong public reaction. The bills involve the reinterpretation and revision of existing laws while expanding the range of allowable activities for the nation’s military, the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

For a nation steeped in pacifism following its defeat and post-conflict occupation in World War II, any loosening of the constraints imposed on Japan’s military under Article 9 of its U.S.-influenced Constitution provokes alarm in large segments of the population. This was indeed the case when the security bills – championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – were approved by the Lower House’s Special Committee on Security Legislation on July 15, thus enabling them to be put to a vote in the lower chamber dominated by Abe’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The move created an uproar sparking large demonstrations by up to 100,000 protestors outside the Diet building and prompted the major opposition parties in the legislature to walk out in protest. Continue reading