The House of Commons Defence Committee has released a report looking at defence developments in the High North. It should serve as a timely reminder of defence priorities, both among decision-makers in London and the general public
The United States and Chinese navies have just narrowly avoided a dangerous collision. This was not an accident but an escalation, a show of force on the part of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to drive out the US Navy from what China considers its territorial waters in the South China Sea.
Officials from the US and China put on brave faces at the recently concluded US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Tensions in the maritime and cyber realms, however, are threatening to send the relationship into a downward spiral.
With news of regular tragedies involving migrants awash on Europe’s shores, the European Union is promising to respond to these through military means. But the political will just does not exist in Europe; neither can the hurdles be overcome easily.
Last week saw governments making statements about their values, intent and national interest through the medium of the sea. Distracted by emergency response in Nepal and elections at home, the United Kingdom was largely absent from this global maritime conversation.
The Philippines' brash president, Rodrigo Duterte, is making overtures to China at the expense of a long-lasting alliance with the US. It remains to be seen whether Beijing will reciprocate given its own conflicts with Manila over fishing rights and freedom of navigation.