President-elect Putin has been ushered into power on a promise of furthering Russia's hard-nosed attitude towards the West. Central to Putin's stance is continued Russian reticence towards NATO's plans for Ballistic Missile Defence. A stand-off ensues where Russian insistence on guarantees will be hard to meet.
As the full ramifications of the austerity measures become clear, the UK may be reconsidering the choice of F-35 variant which it will buy under its Joint Combat Aircraft programme. For costs and operational reasons, Variant B is the logical choice.