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Defense`s Feeds

EDA commitment to equality

EDA News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 12:24

EDA is committed to equality, one of the fundamental values on which the European Union is built. This includes equality of opportunity and treatment and zero tolerance towards all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment and any form of gender-based violence in the workplace. 

EDA achieves its mission through the contribution of its diverse workforce, men and women, civilian and military, from different national and cultural backgrounds and tolerates no discrimination on the grounds of age, race, political, philosophical or religious conviction, sex or sexual orientation disability, marital status or family situation.


Belgian Minister of Defence visits EDA

EDA News - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 08:28

Steven Vandeput, the Defence Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium, visited the European Defence Agency today where he was welcomed by EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq.

A wide range of topics related to European defence cooperation were discussed, including the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the European Defence Fund (EDF) as well as the update of the Capability Development Plan (CDP).

Belgium’s role and participation in EDA projects were also discussed during the visit. Minister Vandeput was presented with detailed updates on a range of ongoing projects including on the development of new generation of Maritime Mine Countermeasures as well as on collaborative training for RPAS operators of which one participating training site is in Florennes, Belgium.

Minister Vandeput underlined the important role of the EDA in support of its Member States: “I believe that EDA is actively supporting its Member States in the development of military capabilities that are needed to bolster Europe’s defences. Belgium is happy to cooperate with the EDA where it can.”

EDA Chief Jorge Domecq thanked Minister Vandeput for his visit and Belgium’s involvement in the Agency’s activities. “With Belgium actively participating in a wide range of defence cooperation projects and activities, through the EDA or in other bi- and multinational fora, it demonstrates that it firmly believes that today’s defence and security challenges cannot be tackled in isolation”, said Jorge Domecq.  

European Defence Agency and European Investment Bank sign cooperation agreement

EDA News - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 11:36

Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and Alexander Stubb, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation between the two institutions.

The European Council of 19 October 2017 encouraged the EIB to examine further steps with a view to supporting investments in defence research and development activities. As a response, the EIB recently approved the European Security Initiative - Protect, Secure, Defend, strengthening its support for RDI for dual-use technologies, cybersecurity and civilian security infrastructure. Today the EIB and EDA teamed up to support EU policy objectives, in particular as regards the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The cooperation between the two entities materialises as major European initiatives supporting the EU level of ambition in the area of security and defence are launched, including a European Defence Fund.

As a first step, EDA and the EIB envisage cooperation in the Cooperative Financial Mechanism (CFM). The CFM is foreseen as a mechanism for EDA Member States to financially support the set up and conduct of the development of military technology. The EIB role in the CFM would focus on supporting the development of dual use technologies. Additionally, the two organisations agreed to exchange expertise, in particular with a view to identify possible financing opportunities for defence and security-related Research and Technology projects in support of EDA participating Member States. EDA stands ready to support the EIB in identifying projects, that are potentially eligible for its assistance; this could include both projects promoted by the Member States, such as those in the context of the recently launched Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), as well as projects promoted by companies including Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the defence and security sector. 

“European security and defence is high on the agenda of decision-makers and citizens alike. EDA and EIB have complementary expertise and are natural partners. The Agency will support the EIB in the identification and assessment of projects as well as by putting its defence expertise at the service of the Bank”, said Jorge Domecq. 

“Under the European Security Initiative - Protect, Secure, Defend, the EIB is ready to step up its support to the security and defence sector. In line with our mission, we look forward to supporting in particular investment projects that target dual-use technologies, which can be commercialised also in civilian applications”, said EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb. “Today’s cooperation agreement is welcome news for Europe’s security as it will help the European Defence Agency and the European Investment Bank to better contribute to EU policy goals”. 

Cooperative Financial Mechanism

The Cooperative Financial Mechanism (CFM) will play an important role in easing the launch phase of cooperative projects. Designed to support any type of collaborative efforts, in the R&T, R&D or acquisition phase, its support will include access to funding, a well-known shortfall hampering cooperative efforts, as well as the reduction of bureaucracy. It will result in an increased quality of public expenditures. 

The Mechanism, developed as an EDA ad hoc Category A programme, is voluntary. Member States decide if they wish to participate, contribute and support projects. 

Once negotiations on the Programme Arrangement are finalised, the CFM is likely to be based on two pillars. In the first, intergovernmental, Member States will have the opportunity to mutually support via a system of reimbursable advances and deferred payments. In the second, the European Investment Bank will act as the sole lender, supporting dual use projects in line with its policies. This will enable an increased support from EIB to the security and defence agenda, an objective underlined several times by the European Council. 

More information:

Green light for Cyber Defence Education, Training, Exercise & Evaluation Platform

EDA News - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 10:34

EU Member States last week agreed to commence work on a platform to provide Member States with education, training, exercise and evaluation (ETEE) services in the field of cyber security/defence.  The platform will be led by the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) and will build on the support already provided by the European Defence Agency (EDA), the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission.

The main task of the ETEE platform within the ESDC is the coordination of cyber security and defence training and education for EU Member States. The existing training will be harmonised and standardised and new courses will close the gaps between training needs and training activities. These efforts will be jointly undertaken by various stakeholders and partner organisations.

In response to Member States’ requirement to fill the skills gap in cyber defence, EDA played an important role in developing the design proposal of this platform, following the results of a relevant feasibility study which were properly adapted to the actual Member States’ needs.

The ESDC will liaise closely with the EEAS, the Commission and EDA on the implementation. EDA will seek to migrate existant initiatives on education, training and exercises to the ETEE platform for sustained delivery into the future; a prime example is the increasingly well-established Cyber Strategic Decision Making Exercise. The ESDC will also seek synergies with respective NATO initiatives, also in the frame of the implementation of the EU-NATO Joint Declaration.

The cyber platform is planned to reach initial operating capability by 1 September 2018.  Meanwhile, staff will be recruited and an initial training catalogue drafted.  The full operational capability of the platform is planned to be announced in April 2019.

More information: 



EDA market survey on commercially available RPAS services

EDA News - Mon, 02/26/2018 - 15:00

Providing support to CSDP operations is a core task of the EDA which, since its creation in 2004, has developed tools to provide administrative, contracting and/or technical support to EU-led missions and operations whenever they face capability shortfalls in crucial domains. 

Situational awareness, which presupposes the availability of appropriate information gathering and intelligence management capabilities, is one of such domains. As EU or Member States’ military operations or civilian missions are often deployed on very short notice, putting these capabilities in place often constitutes a challenge. Tactical or medium altitude long endurance (MALE) type Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), are critical assets in this respect with their ability to provide permanent and all weather coverage with high quality sensors. 

Turn-key solutions

In order to prepare for future decisions to be taken in that area, the EDA decided to launch a market survey to better understand the range of commercially available solutions which could fulfil possible future requirements for RPAS services in operations, as well as their potential associated risks or limitations. At this stage, the primary scope of the survey is the provision of RPAS services (tactical and/or MALE) covering the aircraft, ground segments (both ground control station and ground data terminal),navigation and communications. Personnel, training facilities as well as logistic support are also considered as being part of the ‘RPAS services’ addressed under the survey.

It should be underlined that the objective of this survey is to identify service providers of turn-key solutions and not manufacturers or suppliers of assets.


Full details on the aim, scope and participating rules are available here.


Deadline for participation is 31 March 2018.

Workshop on Maritime Surveillance industrial long term perspectives

EDA News - Fri, 02/02/2018 - 10:12

The European Defence Agency (EDA) held a workshop on capability development trends in Maritime Surveillance on 1 February as part of a more structured dialogue between Member States and industry.

More than 50 representatives from Member States, industry and other institutions shared information on capability development for Maritime Surveillance. Based on a call for papers issued in October 2017, nine industries were selected to present their views in three panels dedicated to mid-term, long-term and industry & market perspectives on maritime surveillance.

The workshop is part of the EDA’s approach towards establishing a structured dialogue and enhanced engagement with industry, based on a set of priority actions derived through the Capability Development Plan (CDP) and the recent Maritime Research Agenda contributing to the implementation of the European Maritime Security Strategy. The aim of the process is to enrich the CDP long-term views with inputs on the industrial and technological outlook for specific capability areas.

This was the second workshop in this format, following the one addressing Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) which was held on 12 September 2017.  Feedback received on these two workshops will be taken into account in envisaging additional workshops with industry participation in the second semester, once the EU capability development priorities resulting from the on-going CDP revision will have been agreed by Member States. 


More information:

Russian Air Force procurement plans

Russian Military Reform - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 15:37

The last month or so has seen a number of good overviews in the Russian press of recent procurement and future plans of the Russian Air Force. The Russian Air Force has been substantially modernized and upgraded as part of the current State Armament Program (SAP-2020). The table below summarizes procurement in tactical aviation over the last ten years, as compiled by Moscow’s CAST think tank.

Type earlier 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total Contracted Su-34 15 10 14 18 18 16 16 107 129 Su-35S — 2 8 24 12 12 10 68 98 Su-27 SM3 12 — — — — — — 12 12 Su-30 SM — 2 14 21 27 19 17 100 116 Su-30 M2 4 — 3 8 3 2 — 20 20 MiG-29 SMT /UBT 28/6 — — — 3/2 11/0 — 42/8 50 MiG-29 KR /KUBR — — 2/2 8/2 10/0 — — 24 24 Yak-130 12 15 18 20 14 10 6 95 109 Total 77 29 61 101 89 70 49 476 560

Much of this procurement reflects the need to replace aging Soviet aircraft with new airframes with modern electronics and weapon systems. Nevertheless, many Soviet-era airframes remain in service. These include approximately 100 Su-27 and Su-27SM and approximately 150-170 MiG-29S fighter aircraft, approximately 150 MiG-31 interceptors, and over 200 each of the Su-24 bomber and Su-25 strike aircraft.

Most of these aircraft are expected to be either replaced or modernized over the next 10 years. According to Ilya Kramnik, who recently published a comprehensive summary of Russian aircraft procurement plans, the Russian Air Force is planning to have at least 700 fighter aircraft in active service. The bulk of these (around 450) will be designed by Sukhoi. These will include 66 additional Su-30SM aircraft, with 16 of these to be delivered in 2018 based on an existing contract signed in 2012 and the other 50 by 2022 based on a new contract to be signed in the near future. These aircraft are being built at the Irkutsk aircraft plant. This will bring the total number of Su-30SM and Su-30M2 aircraft to at least 186 by 2027, with approximately 50 of these in naval aviation.

In addition, approximately 130 Su-35S aircraft are to be delivered over the next 10 years, with 30 still remaining on an existing contract from 2015 and another 100 expected to be procured on a new contract to be signed as part of SAP-2027. When added to the 68 aircraft already delivered, the Russian air force should expect to have approximately 200 Su-35S fighters by 2027. The new fifth generation Su-57 fighter aircraft will be procured in limited numbers, with reports indicating that 12 aircraft will be delivered by 2021 and around 50 more by 2027. Delays in deliveries of these planes may be covered by an increase in purchases of Su-35s and perhaps Su-30s.

There is still a lot of uncertainty about the extent to which the Russian Air Force will procure the new MiG-35 multi-role fighter jet. Some sources have stated that 170 MiG-35 aircraft will be purchased over the next 10 years, while Kramnik quotes unnamed experts who believe that the number purchased will be limited to 70-80 units. I expect the lower number to be closer to reality, given the general lack of enthusiasm in the Russian MOD for the MiG-35. In the meantime, the air force is continuing to modernize its existing fleet of Soviet era MiG-31 aircraft, with as many as 150 of the 250 units in inventory expected to be modernized by 2027. Of these, around 30 will remain assigned to naval aviation. The 50 MiG-29SMT and UBT variants procured between 2009 and 2016 will also remain in the force, while older MiG-29 versions are likely to be phased out over the next ten years.

Carrier-based naval aviation will consist of the 17 remaining older Su-33 fighter planes, currently undergoing an expensive modernization, together with 23 MiG-29KR aircraft delivered in the last few years.

Strike aviation will consist of modernized versions of the Soviet-era Su-25, with a total of 120-140 aircraft to be converted to carry precision-guided munitions. The venerable Su-24 bombers, on the other hand, will be entirely replaced by the new Su-34s, which performed quite well in Syria in recent years. In addition to the 114 Su-34s already in service, Kramnik expects the Russian military to sign a contract in the next two years to purchase an additional 90-100 aircraft, with perhaps additional units earmarked for naval aviation to replace its current stock of Su-24s.

Prospects for long range aviation are relatively clear, with serial production of a modernized version of the Tu-160 expected to start in 2021. While exact numbers of aircraft to be procured have not been revealed, some early estimates suggested that as many as 50 new Tu-160s will be procured over the next decade. In the meantime, existing Tu-95 and Tu-160 aircraft are in the process of receiving new engines, avionics, and weapon systems.

Transport aviation is in much worse shape than combat aviation, with relatively few new aircraft procured in the last ten years.  The Il-76MD is expected to remain the heavy transport workhorse of the Russian Air Force. These aircraft were built in the 1980s and were relatively underused in the post-Soviet period, so that they could serve another 15-20 years in their present form. In 2013, the MOD ordered 39 aircraft of a modernized Il-76MD-90A variant, although only five have been delivered through the end of 2017, including two units that will be developed into the A-100 AWACS aircraft. According to Vladimir Moiseev, the main need for modernized aircraft is as a platform for the A-100 and for the Il-78 refueling aircraft, rather than for new heavy transport aircraft themselves. Moiseev notes that given the issues with organizing timely production of the modernized Il-76, development of a next next generation heavy transport aircraft has been put off into the distant future.

Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force desperately needs a new medium transport aircraft, since the remaining 60 or so An-12 aircraft were built in the 1960s and early 1970s and are rapidly approaching the end of their service lives. The various projects to build a new multi-role transport aircraft that have been under discussion for more than 15 years have been united only by their continued failure to produce an aircraft. The current plan is to have a design finalized this year and test flights to start in 2023. Given that most An-12s will have to be retired by 2024, this gives little margin for error and in fact almost guarantees that the Russian Air Force will either face a gap of at least a few years without a medium transport aircraft or (more likely) will have to do what it can to keep as many An-12s as possible airworthy for as long as it can.

The situation with light transport aircraft is a little better. Although the 40 existing An-26 aircraft will also have to be retired soon, the design of the new Il-112 replacement aircraft is relatively far along, with initial test flights expected in late 2018 and serial production possibly ready to start no later than the early 2020s.

Finally, the Il-114 is expected to become the main platform for special aviation, including variants for maritime patrol (to replace the Il-38), electronic warfare, AWACS, and reconnaisance. About 50 aircraft of this type are expected to be produced for the Russian military over the next ten years.

Based on this overview, we can make a rough estimate of what the Russian Air Force and naval aviation will look like in 2027. I am excluding the various types of specialized aircraft, such as AWACS, tankers, maritime patrol, etc, from this table, just to keep it manageable. The table includes aircraft in both the air force and in naval aviation.

Type Category Number Su-25 Strike 120-140 Su-27 Fighter 60-70 Su-30 Fighter 190-200 Su-33 Carrier-based fighter 17 Su-34 Bomber 210-230 Su-35 Fighter 200 Su-57 Fighter 50-60 MiG-29 Fighter 60-80 MiG-31 Interceptor 150 MiG-35 Fighter 70-80   Total Tactical 1100-1200   Yak-130 Trainer 110-130 Yak-152 Trainer 150   Total Trainers 260-280       Tu-22 Bomber 69 Tu-95 Bomber 60 Tu-160 Bomber 66 Total Long Range Aviation 190-200     Il-76 Heavy transport 100-150 An-12 Medium transport 30-60 Il-112 Light transport 40-50 Other types (mostly Antonov) Transport 40-50 Total Transport 210-300

As can be seen from this overview, Russian military aviation is set to build on its core strengths in combat aviation while improving its strike and long range bomber capabilities. Transport will remain a weakness, with little progress being made over the next decade to address continuing problems in that sphere that have only been exacerbated by the end of defense cooperation with Ukraine and its Antonov design bureau.

Overall, Russian aircraft procurement has followed the path of buying more of what Russian defense industry is good at producing, rather than basing procurement on a programmatic assessment of Russian defense needs. In addition, the MOD has to some extent succumed to pressure to support defense industry and will be procuring aircraft such as the MiG-35 that it is not particularly excited about. As a result, the air force will be faced with a proliferation of combat aircraft types, with the attendant higher maintenance and training costs. In the meantime, the long-term weakness in transport aviation will persist, limiting the improvements in military mobility that have been one of the core aspects of military reform efforts over the last decade.

Coopération "Lancester House II"?

CSDP blog - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 09:33

(French version below)

France and the United Kingdom strengthen military cooperation : A new phase of the Lancaster House Agreement in 2010

French President Emmanuel Macron and the British PM Theresa May announced Thursday, January 18, 2018 a strengthening of Franco-British cooperation in the areas of migration and defense. The United Kingdom has just announced the availability of "heavy" helicopters to support French operations in the Sahel and Sahara. The United Kingdom has indeed agreed to make available to French forces in Mali three of its military helicopters "Chinook". This is precisely the tool that is missing most French infantry in the Sahel and Sahara.

Barkhane aligns well 17 helicopters, but none can carry thirty men and their equipment in one fell swoop. The United Kingdom will also provide 56 million euros of additional aid for the alliance for the Sahel. In recent years, UK and France have worked side by side to combat the global threat posed by the Ebola virus. The peries will increase our efforts in the Sahel to prevent Islamic extremism from increasing instability and insecurity that feeds the migration crisis.

London could also announce a contribution to the financing of the joint G5 Sahel force (FCG5S) at the Brussels meeting on 23 February. Paris and London are also announcing increased support in East Africa, particularly through AMISOM, the African Union Mission for Somalia.

The two capitals announce that the Combined Joint Expedition Force (CJEF), launched after the Lancaster House agreements, will be ready to be deployed in the most demanding operations by 2020. This force has obtained its certification final spring 2017, during Exercise Griffin Strike. In addition, now some 50 officers are inserted into the respective armed forces.

French officers were deployed on British operations and British officers on French operations. (We are very moved about the "incredible speed" of the setting up of such a force by 2 West European states whose armed forces are the most important: 10 years!)Finally, on the industrial side, France and the United Kingdom confirm their willingness to cooperate in the field of submarine UAVs and in the future air combat systems.


La France et le Royaume-Uni renforcent leur coopération militaire : Une nouvelle phase des Accords de Lancaster House en 2010

Le président français Emmanuel Macron et le PM birtannique Theresa May ont annoncé jeudi 18 janvier 2018 un renforcement de la coopération franco-britannique dans les domaines des migrations et de la défense. Le Royaume-Uni vient ainsi d'annoncer la mise à disposition d'hélicoptères « lourds » pour appuyer les opérations françaises au Sahel et au Sahara. Le Royaume-Uni a en effet accepté de mettre à disposition des forces françaises au Mali trois de ses hélicoptères militaires « Chinook ». C'est précisément l'outil qui manque le plus aux fantassins français au Sahel et au Sahara.

Barkhane aligne bien 17 hélicoptères, mais aucun ne peut transporter d'un seul coup une trentaine d'hommes et leur équipement. Le Royaume-Uni fournira aussi 56 millions d'euros d'aide supplémentaire pour l'alliance pour le Sahel. Ces dernières années, le Royaume-Uni et la France ont travaillé côte à côte pour combattre la menace globale que représente le virus Ebola. Les perties vont augmenter nos efforts dans le Sahel pour empêcher l’extrémisme islamique d'augmenter une instabilité et une insécurité qui nourrissent la crise migratoire ».

Londres pourrait aussi annoncer une participation au financement de la force conjointe du G5 Sahel, (FCG5S) lors de la réunion de Bruxelles le 23 février prochain. Paris et Londres annoncent aussi un soutien accentué en Afrique de l'Est en particulier via l'AMISOM, la mission de l'Union Africaine pour la Somalie.

Les deux capitales annoncent que la Force expéditionnaire commune (CJEF - Combined Joint Expedition Force), lancée après les accords de Lancaster House sera prête à être déployée dans les opérations les plus exigeantes d'ici 2020. Cette force a obtenu sa certification finale le printemps 2017, lors de l’exercice Griffin Strike. Par ailleurs, désormais quelque 50 officiers sont insérés au sein des forces armées respectives.

Les officiers français ont été déployés dans le cadre d’opérations britanniques et des officiers britanniques dans le cadre d’opérations françaises . (Nous sommes très émus concernant la "vitesse incroyable" de la mise en place d`une telle force par 2 Etats ouest-européens dont les forces armées sont les plus importants : 10 ans!)
Enfin sur le volet industriel, la France et le Royaume-Uni confirment leur volonté de coopérer dans le domaine des drones sous-marin chasseurs de mine et dans les systèmes de combat aérien du futur.

Tag: CJEFG5 Sahel

Russian Military Intervention in Kazakhstan

Russian Military Reform - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 16:05

I’ve written a short report for an American Enterprise Institute project on possible Russian interventions in neighboring states. I was asked to discuss possible reasons for and trajectories of a Russian intervention in Kazakhstan. You can access the full report through AEI, but here’s an excerpt.

Key Points

  • Kazakhstan’s size and Russia’s lack of significant military presence in the region make outright invasion unlikely.
  • Nevertheless, the death or deposition of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev could generate regional instability, which may prompt Russia to intervene in support of a new regime or to undermine a newly empowered Kazakh nationalist one.
  • The likeliest cause of intervention would be to put down an Islamist insurgency, either with or without a request from Astana.


Although a Russian military intervention in Kazakhstan is fairly unlikely, there are scenarios under which it could occur. This report first describes several possible scenarios that might result in such an intervention, considering potential Russian responses that range from providing assistance at the request of Kazakhstan’s government to an outright invasion. It then briefly examines the forces Russia could bring to bear in a conflict in Central Asia, looking in slightly more depth at the likeliest scenario—a Russian intervention to suppress an Islamist incursion or uprising.

Possible Scenarios for Intervention in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s size would make Russia reluctant to undertake a full-scale military intervention. Still, there are circumstances under which the Russian leadership would feel pressure to use force to intervene in Kazakhstan.

The greatest potential threat to political stability in Kazakhstan would come from the death or incapacity of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Such a situation could be followed by a succession crisis, with multiple groups jockeying for position.

If prolonged government weakness or conflict ensues, radical Islamist groups connected to the Taliban or the Islamic State could seize the oppor-tunity to launch an armed insurgency, potentially combined with an incursion from the south. A weak or divided Kazakhstan government might prove incapable of resisting a well-organized insurgency, especially if the anti-government forces are able to draw on the support of local inhabitants in the more religious (Islamic) southern parts of the country. In such a situation, Kazakhstani leaders might request assistance from Russia. Russia might also intervene on its own without a request for help, but only if Kazakhstan were largely engulfed by instability and Russia wanted to protect its borders or ethnic Russians living in areas near Russia that were under threat.

Although the threat from religious extremist groups is real, it requires some degree of state weakness or division to develop. While scholars have long argued that a crisis precipitated by the death of an aging leader could provide such an opportunity in any of the Central Asia states, the two cases so far of leaders dying in office in Central Asia (Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have both resulted in fairly smooth leadership transitions.

A second, though relatively unlikely, possibility is that Nazarbayev’s death coincides with a difficult period in Russian domestic politics for the Vladimir Putin regime. Whether because of economic problems or political weakness vis-à-vis younger politicians, Putin and his circle might choose to reenact the Crimea scenario in Kazakhstan. The goal would be to boost the regime’s popularity through another injection of militarized patriotism by annexing a territory with a predominantly Russian population. Such territories are located in the north and northeast of the country, directly adjacent to Russian territory. Counting on support from at least some of the local ethnic Russians, Moscow could seek to annex the territories around Petropavlovsk and Kustanay in the north or the territory around Ust-Kamenogorsk in the northeast.

Somewhat paradoxically, a third scenario for Russian intervention could follow a smooth transition of power. In this case, Nazarbayev could be succeeded by a leader who begins to implement a Kazakh nationalist agenda, acting aggressively to remove Russian language from the public sphere and ethnic Russians from positions of authority inside the country. Government policies under such a leader might also shift financial resources away from the northern and eastern parts of the country where ethnic Russian inhabitants predominate.

The leadership might undertake policies to reduce Kazakhstan’s ties to Russia, perhaps going so far as to suspend membership in the Eurasian Union. In doing so, the leadership would bank on expanding already close economic ties with China into the political and security spheres. Such a development would worry Russian leaders, who are comfortable with a division of influence with China in Central Asia as long as Russia continues its primacy in the security sphere—they would be concerned about a Kazakhstani government bent on severing political and security ties to Moscow.

Finally, Russian intervention might also be triggered by mass protests leading to a color revolution, similar to Georgia in 2003 or Ukraine in 2004–05 and 2013–14. The population might be outraged by corruption and repression during tough economic times. As in the first scenario, Kazakhstan’s leadership would need to precipitate the intervention by requesting assistance from either Russia directly or the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Russian leaders would then act in support of this request.

Read the full report here

[Compte rendu] L’Union européenne et la paix, L’invention d’un modèle européen de gestion des conflits

CSDP blog - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 00:00

L’Union européenne et la paix, L’invention d’un modèle européen de gestion des conflits sous la direction de Anne Bazin, Charles Tenenbaum, Coll. Relations Internationales, SciencePo, Les Presses, 2017

Le livre intitulé „L’Union européenne et la paix. L’invention d’un modèle européen de gestion des conflits” est un travail collectif de dix auteurs sous la rédaction d’Anne Bazin et Charles Tetenbaum. Les deux co-auteurs sont des maitres de conférence en science politique a Sciences Po Lille et les chercheurs au Centre d’études et de recherches administratives, politiques et sociales (CERAPS, Université de Lille 2).
Anne Bazin dans sa recherche se concentre autour des questions liées a la politique étrangère de l’UE. Charles Tenenbaum s’interesse à la thématique des médiations internationales et résolution des conflits et de multilatéralisme.

Ce livre d’une manière scientifique et méthodique dessine une analyse approfondie et détaillée de la politique de la construction de la paix par l’UE après la guerre froide. Cet Union qui, en 2012 reçoit le prix Nobel de la Paix.

Il démontre quelles sont les logiques politiques et les changements dynamiques institutionnels qui accompagnent dans le temps la création et l’évolution d’un modèle européen de gestion des crises.

L’Union européenne apparait comme un acteur majeur de la paix et de la résolution des conflits au coté des autres organisations internationales comme Organisation des Nations Unis et Organisation de Sécurité et de Coopération en Europe.

La structure du livre, accompagnée par une introduction d’Anne Bazin et de Charles Tenenbaum se compose de deux partis et se compose de 9 chapitres. Dans la première partie nous trouvons les propos théorique, concernant la création et le fonctionnement des politiques de la gestion des crises de l’UE. La deuxième partie décrit les exemples concrets d’implémentation des différents instruments et de stratégies de la politique étrangère et de sécurité: le Proche Orient, la Somalie et le Caucase afin de mieux démontrer les initiatives de la paix de l’UE dans le terrain.

Chaque chapitre est écrit par un autre chercheur venant des différents universités, pas seulement européens (Science Po Lille, Science Po Grenoble, Cardiff University, Université Hebraique de Jerusalem, College d’Europe de Bruges, Université d’Amsterdam).

Dans l’introduction les auteurs souhaitent souligner l’importance de comprendre l’évolution institutionnelle et politique de la gestion des crises made in Europe. Le premier chapitre démontre l’évolution institutionnelle des mécanismes européens dans une perspective historique et sociologique. Dans le deuxième chapitre les auteurs présentent les acteurs majeurs et les pratiques d’implantation de l paix par les institutions de l’UE. Dans le troisième chapitre l’auteur décrit les actions menées par l’Union a cote des autres institutions internationales qui s’activent dans le domaine des missions pacifiques et de gestion de crise. Dans le quatrième chapitre nous avons une analyse de la manière de laquelle sont analysées les programmes de démocratisation dans la stratégique globale de la politique de l’Union notamment la gestion de crise. Chapitre cinq présente une chronologie très détaillée de la création de la politique extérieure de l’UE. Il se divise en quatre parties:
- l'évolution normative,
- la mise en place de la politique de gestion de crises de l’UE,
- le niveau institutionnel,
- les exemples des missions de paix menées par l’Union (Croatie, Bosnie, Kosovo; Afghanistan, Libye; Tchétchénie, Georgie, Ukraine).
Le chapitre six présente l’évolution de médiation comme un des instruments pacifique de la gestion de crise par l’UE. Les trois derniers chapitres décrivent les exemples exacts de l’engagement de lUE dans la construction et du maintien de la paix dans le monde : le conflit Israélo-Palestinien, la Somalie et le Caucase.

Cet ouvrage présente des normes, des pratiques ainsi que des acteurs de l’UE selon une démarche de sociologie des relations internationales:
- les enquêtes sociologiques approfondies,
- les entretiens avec des praticiens, des experts et des diplomates qui participent dans ce processus directement.
Les auteurs soulignent que l’UE développe depuis la fin de la guerre froide les divers instruments de sa politique étrangère:
◦ la gestion des crises,
◦ la prévention,
◦ la médiation,
◦ la réconciliation,
◦ la démocratisation,
◦ des droits de l’homme.
En effet, elle souhaite avoir un rôle majeur dans la pacification des zones de conflit dans le monde.

Les auteurs souhaitent montrer comment grâce aux divers outils de la sociologie et de la science politique, la politique étrangère de l’UE et ses actions extérieurs évoluent. Ils mettent l’accent sur les stratégies alternatives de résolution des conflits développés par l’UE au cours des années.

Il convient de souligner que l’UE et sa politique étrangère sont montrées dans une optique multilatérale, internationale, en comparaison aux autres organisations intergouvernementales, universelles ou régionales qui possèdent déjà depuis plus longtemps les instruments de gestion des crises. En effet, toutes ses organisations participent dans l’organisation du monde.

L’histoire de la politique extérieure de l’UE est animé par l’objectif de mettre les Européens a contribution dans la résolution des conflits. En effet, selon les auteurs, l’UE souhaite devenir conflict manager global.

De la lecture de ce lire découle deux conclusions :
1. la diplomatie européenne sur le niveau régional et mondial reste historiquement liée à la pacification des conflits grâce aux plusieurs modèles de médiations : le soutien financier aux ONG, des expertises externes, le soutien des partenaires,
2. la faiblesse, l’incohérence des moyens entretenus et le manque d’un soutien politique mènent à une baisse d’influence progressive à l’échelle mondiale et à une baisse de la capacité d’intervention de l’UE.
D’ou besoin d’évolution des instruments, de mécanismes et d’institutions spécialisés afin de redéfinir la nouvelle politique de la paix de l’Union.

Il convient de souligner les valeurs scientifiques et même didactiques de cet oeuvre. Malgré son style très technique, qui semble momentanément rude, cette lecture mène à une réflection et un jugement critique envers la politique de l’UE.

Chronologie - politique de la paix de l’UE:

1. Maastricht - chapitre 5- PESC
1. résolution de conflit
2. missions de Petersberg (UEO) : maintien de la paix, missions humanitaires, gestion de crise, rétablissement de la paix
2. Amsterdam - maintien de la paix, missions de forces de combat
3. St.Malo 1998 - capacités militaires (parallèlement - institutionnalisation de la politique européenne de sécurité et de défense
4. Göteborg 2001 - prévention des conflits = un des principaux objectifs des relations extérieurs de l’UE
5. Stratégie européenne de secouriste - équilibre civili-militaire dans la gestion des crises

• 34 missions lances - dans le cadre de la politique européenne de sécurité et de défense entre 2003-2015 (16 achevés, 18 en cours début 2015)
• deux tiers de ces missions ont un caractère civile (coopération police/justice, renforcement de l’Etat de droit)
• taille modeste - qqn dizaines/centaines d’agent.

• Parlement eu. - groupes de médiation - évolution vers une prévention de conflit et une médiation
• Création de l’Institut européen de la paix (IEP) à l’initiative de la Suède et de la Finlande
▪ médiation européenne de la paix européenne
▪ diplomatie informelle
▪ politisation des enjeux lies a la médiation des conflits (différents intérêts des pays membres de l’UE)

Processus Israélo-Palestinien
- jeux d’intérêts des pays membres de l’UE; production normative croissante de l’UE et pas de stratégie politique clairement définie ; par conséquent - une baisse d’influence progressive de l’UE, incohérence entre les normes promues et la capacité d’intervention de l’UE; financement de l’UE majeur (poids financier)

écrit par dr Kinga Torbicka, chercheuse associée de l`Institut Europa Varietas

Tag: Kinga Torbickagestion civile des crisesCSDP

Russia’s Military Modernization Plans: 2018-2027

Russian Military Reform - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 15:57

PONARS Eurasia has just published my memo on Russian military modernization plans from our September policy conference in Washington. I’m reposting it here. Lots of other very interesting memos are available on the PONARS website.

By the end of 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin will approve Russia’s State Armament Program for 2018-2027. This memo summarizes publicly available information regarding the types of armaments that will be procured for the Russian military in the next eight years and assesses the likelihood that the Russian government will be able to meet these commitments. Based on these plans, Russia seems primed to stay ahead of its competitors in some capabilities (anti-ship missiles, electronic warfare, air defenses), narrow the gap in areas such as drones and precision-guided munitions, and continue to lag well behind in a few areas such as surface ships and automated control systems.

The Scope of the Program

The Russian State Armament Program (SAP) for 2018-2027, which is set to be approved toward the end of this year, will set out Russia’s rearmament priorities for the next ten years. The previous program, which runs through 2020, was the blueprint according to which the Russian military has been modernizing its equipment since 2011. That program had a total budget of 19.3 trillion rubles. SAP-2027 was initially regarded as a kind of lifeline for SAP-2020, whose expensive, long-term programs were to be transferred to the next ten-year plan. The cost of the successor program is expected to total 19 trillion. This suggests that military procurement spending is actually being kept fairly constant because the ruble amount remains about the same and almost all of the purchases are from domestic suppliers, meaning the sales are not impacted by changes in the ruble’s exchange rate.

The size of the program was the subject of an extended tug-of-war between the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry. As early as 2014, the military asked for funding in the range of 30-55 trillion rubles over a ten-year period, while the finance ministry set a target of 14 trillion. As the country’s financial situation began to deteriorate in 2015 and the adoption of the SAP was postponed until 2017, both sides lowered their targets. In 2016, the Defense Ministry asked for 22-24 trillion rubles for eight years, while the finance ministry suggested no more than 12 trillion. After an extended and sometimes tense negotiation, a figure of 17 trillion rubles was agreed last winter. This has now been increased to 19 trillion rubles, with the duration extending to the normal ten years. As a result, a number of the most ambitious and expensive projects, including new designs for aircraft carriers, destroyers, strategic bombers, and fighter-interceptor combat aircraft will all be postponed.

This was not the end of tensions over defense financing, however. Although the total amount has been decided, there is now an internal conflict within the defense ministry over how much procurement financing will go to each branch of the military. The various branches have produced documents defending the importance of what they do. As highlighted by the recently approved naval doctrine, such documents often have little connection to any real assessment of either Russian military needs or the capabilities of the defense industry for producing the requested weapons and platforms. Although the final version of the program will not be adopted until the end of the year, it has become increasingly clear that the Russian Navy is in the process of losing the battle for financing. The highest priority for procurement funding will go to the ground forces and to the modernization of nuclear weapons, while the navy, which had the highest level of funding in SAP-2020, will fall to the bottom of the pecking order.

Nuclear Forces

The development priorities of Russian nuclear forces through 2027 are largely clear. After 2021, the naval component of the nuclear triad will consist of six Delta IV-class and eight Borei-class strategic ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), evenly divided between the Northern and Pacific Fleets. This will allow for 12 submarines to be in service at all times, while two undergo overhauls and modernization. The air component is being upgraded, with modernized versions of both Tupolev Tu-95MS (Bear H) bombers and 11 Tu-160 (Blackjack) bombers receiving new engines and avionics, as well as weapons upgrades. The new long-range cruise missile, labeled Kh-101, is replacing the Kh-55, with a range of up to 4,500 km in the nuclear variant. In addition, the Russian military has announced that it will resume building new Tu-160s, with serial production expected to resume no earlier than 2021. This is a more cost-effective and technologically feasible alternative to bringing a completely new design (known as PAK DA) to the point of serial production in a reasonable time frame.

The future development of the land component of the Russian triad presents the least certainty. There are three projects under way, the Rubezh road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Barguzin rail-mobile ICBM, and the Sarmat heavy silo-based ICBM. The Rubezh project is closest to fruition, with testing completed in 2015 and deployment expected later in 2017. The RS-26 Rubezh is a further development of the RS-24 Yars, with independently guided warheads designed to break through missile defense shields. The Barguzin is expected to be ready for flight testing in 2019, even though there was a period of several months in 2016 when it appeared that the program was going to be suspended due to budget cuts. The Barguzin is expected to be superior in range and accuracy as compared to the Soviet rail-based system that was decommissioned in 2005. The RS-28 Sarmat is the next-generation silo-based ICBM. It was originally expected to be ready for deployment in 2018, but unspecified snags in its development have pushed ejection testing from the original target date of 2015 to no earlier than June 2017. As a result, the Sarmat is unlikely to be deployed any earlier than 2020, assuming the difficulties have been overcome and the tests proceed as scheduled.

Ground Forces

After being largely starved of funding in SAP-2020, the ground forces are expected to get the largest share of funding in SAP-2027. Some sources indicate that over a quarter of the total program budget will go to equipping the Ground Forces and Airborne Forces. This is in part due to Russia’s experience in Ukraine leading to an increased perception that ground forces may be needed in future conflicts, but mostly the result of new armored vehicle and tank designs being ready for serial production. T-90 and T-14 Armata tanks, Kurganets-25infantry fighting vehicles and Boomerang armored personnel carriers are all expected to enter the force over the next eight years, though numbers of some items such as Armatatanks may be limited due to their high cost of production.

The production of artillery and ground based missiles has been a bright spot for the ground forces. Deployment of medium-range Iskander missiles is proceeding on schedule, with all units set to be in place by 2019. New Uragan and Tornado-S multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) are also being deployed beginning in 2017, with purchases expected to continue throughout the duration of SAP-2027. Procurement of the Koalitsiya self-propelled gun started in 2016. It is eventually expected to fully replace the Soviet-era Msta system. New short range air defense systems will also be procured.

There are more problems with tactical automated control systems for the ground forces. Originally expected to be deployed to 40 brigades by 2020, these remain in field testing in a single division. Reports indicate that the military has mixed feelings about the system and may decide that it needs improvement before it can be widely adopted. In that case, the development of network-centric warfare capabilities may be delayed beyond 2027. In the meantime, the ground forces will continue to receive intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and electronic warfare systems that have been used to good effect in Syria.

Naval Forces

The Russian Navy stands to be the big loser in SAP-2027. After being allocated 4.7 trillion rubles in SAP-2020 and finding itself unable to spend all of that money due to a combination of problems with Russia’s shipbuilding industry and the impact of Western and Ukrainian sanctions, the Russian Navy’s allocation is expected to be cut to 2.6 trillion rubles in SAP-2027. Despite grandiose plans being mooted in documents such as the recently approved naval doctrine, Russia is planning to focus its naval construction on submarines and small ships. In surface ships, the focus will be on new corvettes of several different types that will have greater displacement and better armament than existing classes, as well as the start of serial production of the long-delayed Admiral Gorshkov-class of frigates. Until the problems with the Admiral Gorshkov are resolved, the Navy will continue to build the less advanced Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates.

The only new class of surface ships expected to be built in the next eight years are the so-called Super Gorshkov-class, an 8,000-ton frigate that is increasingly seen as a cheaper and more practical alternative to the 14,000-ton Lider-class destroyers. The key takeaway is that the Russian Navy is looking to increase the size of its smaller ships in order to increase their armament and endurance, while reducing costs by indefinitely postponing the procurement of larger ships such as destroyers, amphibious assault ships, and aircraft carriers.

As for submarines, SAP-2027 will undoubtedly include financing for the completion of six Yasen-M nuclear attack submarines and possibly for a seventh, as well as for the modernization of four to six each of the Soviet-era Oscar– and Akula-class nuclear attack submarines. Construction of fifth-generation nuclear attack submarines (tentatively named the Husky-class) will begin in the mid-2020s. In diesel submarines, the focus will be on developing air independent propulsion systems for the forthcoming Kalina-class, while Lada– and improved Kilo-class boats are built in the meantime.

More important than new ships and submarines, the coming eight years will see the Russian Navy concentrate on developing new weapons systems and improving existing ones. The introduction of Kalibr missiles has provided the Russian Navy with a standoff anti-ship and land-attack cruise missile capability that can be used to make even small ships that have to stay near home ports a potential threat to adversaries, included NATO member states. The Russian military recognizes the advantages that these missiles provide and has put them on a wide range of ship and submarine classes. Over the next eight years, Russia will continue to deploy these missiles on most new surface ships and submarines, retrofit some existing vessels to carry the missiles, and work to improve the accuracy and reliability of the missiles themselves. It is also working to develop a new hypersonic missile that could pose an even greater threat to Russia’s adversaries in the medium to long term.

Air Forces

In the last seven years, the Russian Air Force has begun to receive modern aircraft in significant numbers and has continued to pay for the development of new designs such as the recently christened Sukhoi Su-57 fifth generation fighter jet (formerly known as the T-50or PAK FA). The Su-57 is not expected to enter into serial production until upgraded engines are ready, which is unlikely to happen until 2027. Over the next eight years, Russia will continue to purchase small numbers of these planes for testing. It will also continue to purchase Su-35S fighter jets, with a new contract for 50 additional aircraft signed in late 2016. Purchases of Su-30SM fighter jets and Su-34 strike aircraft will also continue, most likely at rates of 12-18 aircraft per year of each type. Mikoyan MiG-35 fighter aircraft may also be procured, but probably not in large numbers. Overall, with many modern fighter aircraft now in place, rates of procurement will slow in order to allow for the purchase of other types of aircraft. The same goes for military helicopters, since the Russian military has received what it needs in new helicopters during the last seven years. Development of a new high-speed helicopter will not start until after 2027.

Transport and refueling aircraft, long an area of weakness for the Russian Air Force, will be one area of focus. Serial production of the long-troubled Ilyushin Il-76-MD90A is expected to start in 2019, and the Russian military is expecting to receive 10-12 such aircraft per year thereafter. A light transport aircraft is under development, with prototypes expected to be completed in 2024. The A-100 airborne warning system (AWACS) aircraft, based on the Il-76MD90A, was expected to be delivered starting in 2016 but has been repeatedly delayed. Nevertheless, procurement of this aircraft will be included in SAP-2027. Finally, Russia is experiencing a boom in domestic production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). By 2020, it will have a strike UAV in production, as well as a new generation of reconnaissance UAVs.

For air defense, Russia will continue to deploy S-400 long-range missiles and Pantsir-Sshort-range missiles. However, it seems increasingly unlikely that the next generation S-500air defense system will be ready for serial production any time soon, though official plans still indicate that a prototype will be built by 2020. Original plans called for serial production of the S-500 to start in 2015. The new standard short-range air defense system has just started development and is not expected to be ready for production until 2030.

Impact on Capabilities and Regional Security

SAP-2020 has been widely described as the first successful armament program of Russia’s post-Soviet history. It was designed to help the Russian military catch up from the extended procurement holiday caused by Russia’s economic collapse in the 1990s. During the last seven years, the Russian military has made great strides in modernizing its weapons and equipment. By and large, these new armaments have been based on updated versions of late Soviet designs. The Russian defense industry now faces the far more formidable challenge of bringing new designs into serial production. It has been successful in this regard in some areas, such as nuclear submarines, missile systems, and UAVs. It has been less successful with combat ships and air defense systems. The verdict is still out on combat aircraft and tanks and armored vehicles.

With the most significant gaps largely filled, SAP-2027 is designed to transition the Russian military to a more regular procurement schedule. Funding will remain relatively constant, though it may be adjusted depending on the economic situation. The previous program has shown that this level of funding is more or less achievable for the government budget and for the Russian defense industry to sustain. The biggest challenge will be in bringing new designs successfully to serial production.

In terms of impact on military capabilities, Russia is already strong enough to defend itself in a conventional war against any adversary and to defeat any neighboring state other than China. It also has a more than sufficient nuclear deterrent capability. New procurement will thus be targeted at keeping pace with technological improvements made by its peer competitors (NATO member states and China). In some areas, such as air defenses, anti-ship missiles, and electronic warfare, Russia will continue to maintain capabilities superior to those of its peers. In other areas, such as UAVs, precision-guided munitions, and tanks and armored vehicles, it appears poised to narrow the gap. Finally, in a few areas, such as surface ships, transport aircraft, and automated control systems, it will remain well behind the United States and may start to lag behind China as well.

Valdai 2017: Reactions from a newbie

Russian Military Reform - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:28

I promised a readout of my impressions of the Valdai Club meeting. This was the first time I had been invited to attend this event and I was curious to get a sense of both the content of the discussions and the atmosphere. The four day conference was held at a Gazprom-owned mountain resort an hour outside of Sochi, though after the first day we had virtually no opportunities to go outside, much less leave the compound. When I decided to take a walk in the hills during the lunch break on the last day of the conference, I was very nicely told by the guard at the gate in the fence that the gate was closed for the day (almost certainly because that was the day that Vladimir Putin was supposed to appear). That was very indicative of the setup. Having a conference in a beautiful mountain resort is very nice, but it’s also a good way to keep the participants from wandering off or seeing anything the organizers might not want them to see.

1) I had not realized just how little of the conference would be on Russia. The theme was “Creative Destruction: Will a New World Order Emerge from the Current Conflicts?” The individual panels within that theme were all on grand topics such as man vs. nature or rich vs. poor. There was one panel on “the conflict between differing geopolitical worldviews,” where most of the panelists ended up either spouting self-serving formulations of the “China just wants to share its prosperity with the world” variety or seemed bizarrely naïve, such as one European speaker arguing that Britain would not leave the European Union and Europe would be just fine. A Russian scholar talked about how the US and Russia were engaged in a new Cold War that was even worse than the old one and of course this was America’s fault. The one exception was a prominent American IR scholar, who tried to bring some sense to the proceedings, but with limited success.

The surreal nature of the choice of panel topics was highlighted by the special panel on US domestic politics. First, its presence on the program highlighted the absence of a panel on Russian domestic politics. Second, the speakers included a senior Russian diplomat and two highly respected American experts on Russian politics. Absent were any experts on US politics, which lent the proceedings a slightly odd air, even as the participants did their best to explain the Trump presidency to the audience.

The best panel was another special panel – on the Russian revolution in honor of its 100th anniversary, with five top historians giving their interpretations of the meaning and impact of the revolution on Russia and the world. Overall, though, it seemed odd to gather a large number of experts on Russia just to have them discuss big conceptual issues such as climate change and poverty on which they were experts. As a result, the most interesting discussions I had were in the corridors and in the bar, where there were plenty of opportunities to interact with and learn from both Western and Russian colleagues.

2) The meetings with Russian officials are usually the highlight of the event, yet they seemed to be somewhat disengaged. The senior officials who came to speak with us included Sergei Lavrov, Sergey Kislyak, Igor Shuvalov, Vyacheslav Volodin, German Gref and, of course, Vladimir Putin himself. The dominant theme of all the meetings was that the United States had betrayed Russia’s trust in the 1990s. As Putin said when asked about any mistakes Russia had made in its relations with the United States, our greatest mistake was that we trusted you too much and your greatest mistake was that you took our trust as weakness. The video and transcript of the Putin speech are widely available, so I won’t go over the content in detail. Putin’s attitude was perhaps more interesting than the content of his speech and answers to questions. He seemed disinterested and disengaged. The answers he gave were rote. Some attendees who had been present at Valdai last year indicated that some of the answers were virtually verbatim repeats of things he had said the year before. Given that Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov had promised a “major announcement” from Putin at Valdai, the audience members were left wondering if they had missed something.

Putin clearly wanted to really hammer home the double standards argument that he has been making vis-à-vis the West (and particularly the United States) for years now. He spent an inordinate amount of time on a minute relitigation of the ICJ court case affirming Kosovo’s declaration of independence, pulling out a folder with printouts of the decision and of the reactions to it of various Western governments, which he spent a good 10 minutes reading out loud. He went on a little tirade about Ukrainian nationalism, though he seemed to conflate Petliura and Bandera in the process.

The most interesting thing about his speech was perhaps the conclusion. In response to moderator Fyodor Lukyanov’s tongue in cheek closing comment about how Valdai would miss Putin if he stopped attending because he was no longer president, he asked “will you not invite me if I’m not president?” and followed up with a joke about an oligarch who discovers that he has lost all his money and tells his wife that they will have to sell the fancy cars and houses and move back to the old apartment in Moscow. When the oligarch asks her if she will still love him, she says “yes and I will miss you very much.” The implication was that Putin very much recognizes that his status derives from his position and that leaving the position is fraught with the threat of great personal losses for him. The joke was perhaps the only time when Putin allowed a glimpse of his actual views on the world or his role in it, going beyond the by now stale script of how Russia didn’t want to be opposed to the West but had been forced into the position after being repeatedly betrayed by the United States.

The other officials all spoke off the record, but the impression they gave was not a particularly positive one. Lavrov was smart and cynical as usual. Shuvalov seemed to have dropped the “I am a good pro-Western liberal” act and was just acting like a post-Soviet bureaucrat defending his government’s policies. Volodin was, if anything, worse. As my colleague Rawi Abdelal put it, if Shuvalov looked like he had come from 1994, Volodin seemed to have arrived directly from 1974. He lost his cool on a couple of occasions, including in responding to a question about Navalny, and his scowl was really a sight to behold (see below). Gref seemed to have taken over the role of good Western liberal from Shuvalov, giving a slick presentation about various disruptive 21st century technologies and their potential impacts on Russia in general and on Sberbank in particular. The audience members’ level of interest in the presentation was inversely proportional to their familiarity with the technologies being discussed. Gref came off as a neophyte who had just discovered these new scientific developments that he mostly but not completely understood but thought were really really important and couldn’t wait to share them with everyone.

3) Finally, it’s worth briefly addressing the optics of the event. The parts of the event that involved Russian officials were clearly highly choreographed. The first few questions to Putin gave all signs of being pre-arranged softballs asked by known members of the “Russia understanders” camp. It was quite noticeable that the moderator of the Putin Q&A avoided calling on Americans until the very end, when he did call on Toby Gati. The Lavrov and Putin meetings were slightly odd in another way, as rather than taking the stage alone to address the audience and answer their questions, they were instead on panels with other speakers (colloquially called “side dishes”), who gave short presentations and then sat more or less uncomfortably as the audience addressed their questions to the Russian officials while ignoring them. The Putin panel included Hamid Karzai and Jack Ma (Alibaba CEO), as well as a representative of the Nobel Research Institute. I imagine these are not people who are used to being ignored for long periods of time. Also, there was a gala awards dinner the first evening, emceed by Sofiko Shevardnadze. It all seemed a bit too forced and too loud, like amateurs trying to put on the Oscars and ending up with something more like a small town’s annual good citizen award ceremony. It would probably be best to drop this event, or at least tone it down, as I overheard a lot of participants making uncomplimentary remarks about it afterwards.

There’s always a lively debate in the United States about whether one should attend Valdai. This was the first year I was invited, but I have always thought that for those of us who study Russian politics, it is our job to take any and all opportunities to gain a better understanding of the country and of its leadership. Activists may take a different position, eschewing any signs of “collaboration” in what is clearly a staged and choreographed event. While I wish there were more panels focusing more directly on Russian politics and foreign policy, seeing Putin, Lavrov, et al in action was worthwhile in and of itself. I’ll certainly go back if invited again, since it would be useful to compare the messaging pre- and post-2018 elections.

New opportunities in sustainable energy for defence sector

EDA News - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:15

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Commission today launched the second phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector. The Consultation Forum aims to examine how energy efficiency measures, renewable energy sources and technologies, and protection of critical energy infrastructure considerations apply to the European defence sector.

This second phase will see the initiative move towards the identification of bottlenecks preventing the sector from fully benefiting from sustainable energy. This will help the work move towards more concrete implementation, in view of seizing the economic benefits presented by the transition to clean energy.

“The second phase of the Consultation Forum presents the defence sector with a fresh opportunity to collaborate with the European Commission on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the protection of critical energy infrastructure. Energy security is a key priority for European armed forces, and by acting together, we can improve the resilience of military activities at home and on missions, as well as reduce cost and operational risks, while contributing to the broader objectives of the Energy Union. We must now capitalize on this initiative and deliver real benefits through the initiation of defence energy projects”, said EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq.

“All strands of our energy policy, whether it is energy efficiency or renewables, security of supply or interconnections, have an impact on European defence. While energy efficiency and renewable energy policies were almost not known in the defence and security sector, the Consultation Forum has been key in changing the approach and revealing the significant potential. I am therefore very pleased that the Consultation Forum is entering its second phase which will enable us to explore further how this initiative could be both turned into concrete improvements in the ways which the defence and security sector uses energy and transformed into a real economic opportunity”, Dominique Ristori, Director-General Energy, said.

The first phase of the work brought together a majority of Member States’ Ministries of Defence alongside NATO, the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence, industry and academia, and led to the creation of a European Defence Energy Network (EDEN) with over 100 members. Plenary meetings of the Consultation Forum were held in Brussels (January 2016), Dublin (June 2016), Rome (November 2016), Lisbon (May 2017), and Thessaloniki (September 2017), looking at the challenges and opportunities of moving to a sustainable energy future in the defence sector, including the implications of relevant EU energy legislation for defence.  

The second phase of the Consultation Forum will focus on the identification of bottlenecks preventing the sector from fully reaping the benefits of sustainable energy. The aim is to work towards more concrete implementation, and to identify the tools and opportunities that will transform the knowledge developed to date into tangible defence sector energy projects. Work will be conducted by three parallel working groups covering: (1) Energy Efficiency including Energy Management (2), Renewable Energy Sources, and (3) Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure (PCEI), with finance as a cross-cutting theme. This initiative is a Coordination and Support Action which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant Agreement No 789231.

Further information can be found on EDA's European Defence Energy Network (EDEN) webpage.



The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector is a European Commission initiative managed by the EDA, the first initiative of its kind for these institutions. It brings together experts from the defence and energy sectors to share information and best practices on improving energy management, energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy.

The first phase of the Consultation Forum was announced on 20 October 2015 for a period of 24 months. The work was carried out in three parallel working groups: (1) Energy Management, (2) Energy Efficiency, and (3) Renewable Energy Sources. An Experts Group on Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure (PCEI) developed a PCEI Conceptual Paper.



Airbus bought 50% of Bombardier aircraft section

CSDP blog - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 21:42

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus takes control of the CSeries medium-haul aircraft program of Canadian Bombardier. By this operation Airbus puts 50.01% of the flagship program of the family business in Quebec. A "win-win" operation Airbus shares took 4% on the Paris Stock Exchange.

The company that built the medium-haul jet was created in 2016 by Bombardier and the Government of Quebec to save the bankruptcy program. Ultimately, Airbus will take the majority stake in this company alongside family shareholders (31%) and Quebec authorities (19%). Indeed, under pressure from Boeing, the Trump administration, on the pretext of this subsidy, had overwhelmed the CSeries with an exceptional tax of 300%. A sort of death sentence for a program that has accumulated only 350 orders, but $ 450 million in losses in 2016. Yet the Quebec builder had spared no effort to try to sell his new plane. According to some analysts, the discounts could reach 75% for a device billed about $ 70 million at the list price.

Indeed, this program of medium-haul aircraft perfectly complements the range of Airbus. The CSeries is a 100 to 150-seat airplane of the latest generation, launched in 2013. It is located at the very beginning of the range of Airbus single-aisle aircraft, with 150 to 240 seats. It replaces an aging A319. Once integrated into the industrial aircraft of the European aircraft manufacturer, the CSeries should prove its full commercial potential.

Aircraft are expected to require more than 6,000 aircraft with 100 to 150 seats within 20 years. More importantly, the entry of the CSeries into the bosom of Airbus reinforces the dominance of the European aircraft manufacturer in the medium-haul segment. Airbus already holds more than 60% of a market estimated at more than 25,000 aircraft by 2037.

CERPESC European Solutions for Defence & Crisis Management //--> Tag: AirbusBombardier

Critical energy infrastructure in defence: Successful Completion of Phase 1 Experts Group work

EDA News - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 16:09

On 5/6 October, the Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure (PCEI) expert group - set up under the European Commission’s Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) - met at the European Defence Agency (EDA) to deliver the “PCEI Conceptual Paper: Focus on European Union Defence”. This step concludes the first phase of the expert group’s work. It should assist Member States to build consensus on how to enhance best the protection and resilience of defence related Critical Energy Infrastructures.

To address the risks, vulnerabilities, capability and research shortfalls of defence related Critical Energy Infrastructures (CEI), the PCEI expert group was set up in May 2016. It’s primary task was to assess how the defence sector can apply existing EU CEI legislation to enhance the protection of defence-related CEI and improve its resilience throughout Europe. For that purpose, the group developed an EU-wide defence focused ‘PCEI Conceptual Paper’.

The chairman of the group, Colonel Georgios Drosos from the Hellenic MOD, explains that “this Paper is intended to lead to a collaborative civilian-military approach which supports EU Member States in the identification of best practices and tools which will strengthen further the resilience of defence related CEI from any failures, risks or threats, including terrorism, cyber-attacks, migration flow stress, climate change, and natural hazards”.

Martin Konertz, EDA’s Capability Armaments and Technology (CAT) Director, considers that “this PCEI Conceptual Paper will provide an important building block for increased CEI resilience in the EU as it should inform a related EU policy or guidelines and assist Member States to initiate projects of common interest with the support of the EU”.


Besides the Conceptual Paper, the PCEI expert group also produced a factsheet designed to increase collaboration, awareness and visibility. Both documents will be submitted in mid-October to the European Commission’s DG Energy for final approval. Denis Roger, EDA’s European Synergies and Innovation (ESI) Director, stated: “In order to move beyond the conceptual phase and towards a broader consensus, we will need to foster a common PCEI culture within the EU defence sector and even beyond that, in wider society. In this way, we can contribute to securing a sustainable energy supply chain for both fixed infrastructures and for CSDP operations”.


The work of the PCEI expert group is led by the Ministries of Defence of Cyprus and Greece, supported by their respective national academia and research centres (Centre for Research & Technology Hellas – CERTH, Cyprus University of Technology, European University Cyprus, KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence - University of Cyprus, National Technical University of Athens - NTUA). The Commission’s DG Energy and Joint Research Centre as well as the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence (ENSEC COE) also support the work of the PCEI expert group. At this stage, six EDA Member States (Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Ireland, Greece and Cyprus) are participating in the group. It is supported within the Agency at an inter-directorate level (CAT and ESI) by CAT Project Officer Protect, Dr Constantinos Hadjisavvas, and ESI Project Officer Energy and Environment Systems, Richard Brewin.

More information :

Benvinguts a la República Independent de Catalunya ?

CSDP blog - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:00

Freedom of expression is the right of every person to think as he wishes and to be able to express his opinions by any means he deems appropriate in the fields of politics, philosophy, religion, morals. Freedom of expression in a democratic country of the European Union is considered illegal. In a EU that never hesitates to give lessons in human rights and democracy, for example to African or Balkans countries.

According to Barcelona, the YES has won with 90% of the votes. Some 2.26 million people voted and 2.02 million voted in favor of independence. These figures represent a participation of almost 42.3%, Catalonia counting 5.34 million voters.

The referendum is quite illegal under the Spanish Constitution and the interpretation given to it by the Spanish Constitutional Court. ("It is not within the competence of the autonomies to hold consultations ... which have an impact on the fundamental issues resolved by the constitutional process.") But it is legal according to the Catalan law.

CERPESC European Solutions for Defence & Crisis Management //--> Tag: Catalunyafreedom of expression

Phase 1 of Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in Defence completed

EDA News - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 10:54

The fifth and last meeting of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) was held in Thessaloniki on 19-21 September 2017.

The conference was opened by His Excellency Panos Kammenos (Hellenic Minister of National Defence), Mr Jorge Domecq (Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, EDA), Mr Tudor Constantinescu (Principal Adviser to the Director-General Energy of the European Commission) and Professor Athansios Konstandopoulos, the Chairman of Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH). Mr Dominique Ristori, the Director-General of the Directorate-General Energy of the European Commission, greeted the participants by video message. It was closed by Mr Denis Roger, the European Synergies and Innovation Director at the EDA.

Opening the conference, EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq thanked the participants for the active involvement in the Forum over the last two years. He also used the opportunity to give direction for the future: “As we move to the next phase of the Consultation Forum, we need to focus on defence energy projects and their funding. We need to focus on results.

As possible project areas, Mr Domecq highlighted infrastructure improvements leading for example to the refurbishment of buildings to Nearly Zero Energy Building standards. Projects relating to the assessment of renewable energy technologies could be analysed for where investments could be made to make commercial renewable energy technologies suitable for military use. Finally, there could also be scope to develop policy tools and training on raising energy awareness as well as the development of tools for optimum technology selection.

European Commission Director-General Dominique Ristori said the energy transition was a “top priority of the European Union”. “It is not only about energy and climate alone. It is about accelerating the fundamental modernisation of Europe's entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient, in a socially fair manner. And making it less dependent on imports. It requires the transformation of the whole energy system. All sectors need to contribute and to reap the benefits. I am therefore very pleased that we will continue with the second phase of the Consultation Forum as of October. This would allow, inter alia, a deeper analysis of the issues at stake and the identification of bottlenecks that need to be resolved to allow the defence sector to benefit fully from sustainable energy and to use the energy transition as a major economic opportunity”, he stated.

The aim of this week’s last meeting of the Consultation Forum was to reach agreement on the content of final report with recommendations for a more implementation focused second phase. The conference was attended by around 100 experts from government administrations, as well as industry, academia, NATO representatives and the European Commission. In total, there have been five conferences of this first phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector.
In closing the conference, Director European Synergies and Innovation Denis Roger highlighted, that “we have built a defence energy community which did not exist before”.

Second phase

The second phase of the Consultation Forum will have an implementation focus to take the knowledge developed in the first phase and turn this into results. The focus will remain on energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and the protection of critical energy infrastructure in relation to the implications of relevant EU legislation when applied to the defence sector’s infrastructure. This means that results will have direct benefits for the delivery of defence infrastructure capability, while contributing to the broader objectives of the Energy Union.


The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector is a European Commission initiative managed by the European Defence Agency. It brings together experts from the defence and energy sectors to share information and best practice on improving energy management, energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy. The Consultation Forum has taken place in a series of five plenary meetings over 24 months, and its first phase will be concluded in October 2017.
The work is carried out in three parallel working groups each with a particular focus: (1) Energy Management, (2) Energy Efficiency & 3) Renewable Energy. There was also a Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure PCEI) Experts Group which developed a conceptual paper on PCEI.


More information

Speech on migration by HR/VP Mogherini at the EP plenary session

CSDP blog - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 17:37

CERPESC European Solutions for Defence & Crisis Management //--> Tag: migration crisisMogherini

Airbus Family Flight

CSDP blog - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 22:06

Air show with an A350 XWB, an A400M, an Eurofighter Typhoon and an H160 helicopter.

Tag: Airbus


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