Today You Don’t Need a Big Army To Be a Strong Military Power

TODAY YOU DON’T NEED A BIG ARMY TO BE A STRONG MILITARY POWER The pending triumph of quality over quantity. If we’ve got the smarts. Gabriel Elefteriu 18 July 2016 In Libya forces loyal to the UN-backed government in Tripoli are pressing ISIL hard in Sirte. UK and US advisers are said to be helping government forces with logistics and intelligence. This combination of small-scale but high-end Western military capabilities and low-grade but larger mass of local manpower is increasingly proving to be a battle-winning combination in today’s conflicts — perhaps even a war-winner, in the long term. In other […]

Air and Naval Power in the Black Sea, 1941-1944 (essay)

As NATO allies try to formulate a response to Russian build-up in the Black Sea, what can we learn from the complex military operations that took place in this unique and little-understood theatre during the Second World War? As I conclude in this essay, “this was really a war of small craft in shallow waters for command of the coast, requiring permanent naval pressure for maintaining ‘favourable operational conditions’. Constant naval raids and interdiction actions by light units operating from minor ports relatively close to the enemy proved of key value to this sort of war. […] Naval forces appear […]

Détente 2.0: Playing the long game with a rearmed Russia

We have no long-term strategy to deal with Moscow. Kissinger’s original concept of détente can help. On 28 April the lower house of the French parliament voted through a (thankfully, non-binding) resolution to lift sanctions on Russia. Not longer ago than March, John Kerry’s visit to Moscow occasioned talk of a possible new “thaw” between the Kremlin and Washington. Even the NATO-Russia council has been revived recent weeks. These are not freak political “accidents” but simply expressions of an obvious reality: the relationship with Moscow is complex and sometimes contradictory, particularly given the growing diversity of NATO’s membership. A varying level of […]

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