This year’s Annual Shangri-La Dialogue set the stage for confrontation between China and the US. The now former US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan launched Washington’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, while China upped its participation by being represented at ministerial level for the first time since 2011. The message of both protagonists was clear – neither the US nor China is backing...
As missile defence becomes a central feature of many states’ security postures, it is attendant to frame the enterprise in a wider strategic context to understand its importance. The classic geopolitical dichotomy between Heartland and Rimland states outlined by Halford Mackinder and Nicholas Spykman might help us understand the geopolitical significance of global allied missile defences.
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.
Pictures of what appears to be a test installation of a naval railgun on a PLA Navy landing ship suggest China is moving forward with sea trials of a weapon which can threaten all Western surface assets. At the start of a huge ship-building plan, China is ideally placed to capitalise on this technology.
As part of a renewed focus on naval expeditionary operations, the United States, United Kingdom and other nations are testing a variety of unmanned systems to enhance the capabilities and cost effectiveness of amphibious forces against future global threats
To meet the threats from China and North Korea, Japan is cooperating with its allies in the region, particularly by selling, lending or gifting them naval and maritime assets. But Tokyo is also building up its own fleet, despite its pacifist constitution, and this has put Japan’s shipbuilders into the spotlight.