New Developments for MBTs: Dutch LEOPARD 2 A6 MBTs to Join eFP

The latest events in the field of international security have led to a demand for an increase in the development of tools and weapons used in defence. After 2014, when Russia started the Crimean War, both NATO and the EU reviewed the need to expand their heavy armament component. In this sense, a particular focus has been directed to the category of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs). However, the growing demand for MBTs goes hand in hand with relentless technological development. Currently, to be truly effective, a squadron of tanks must meet certain characteristics and standards on active protection systems, vetronics and optronics, and automation (Marrone et al, 1, 2020). However, these standards are currently impossible to meet on a European level. Currently, the European armies possess a squadron of MBTs inadequate to deal with present conflicts. Moreover, the availability of MBTs is minimal and insufficient. This, in turn, makes the EU a fragile target from the perspective of heavy weapons (Hoffmann, 2010).

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Possibile Effects of the AUKUS Trilateral Pact on European Security and Defence Cooperation

On the 15th of September, the heads of state of the US, UK, and Australia announced the inauguration of a new trilateral naval defence pact covering the Indo-Pacific region. This pact, known as Aukus, involves cooperation in a number of fields. The US and UK will share military and cyber intelligence and quantum technology with Australia, and they will also assist in its pursuit of cruise missiles and greater AI capabilities. More crucially, however, the pact will involve the two NATO members sharing technology, consultation, manpower, and resources for Australia to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

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From Sharpshooter to Sniper: The Evolution of Snipers in the Modern Battlefield

Over the centuries, the use of snipers in com- bat has evolved from a peripheral practice to a widespread feature of modern warfare. Rifle and optical technology have undergone huge advancements that have helped marksmen emerge as integral parts of offensive and de- fensive strategies. Today, snipers continue to impact combat in ways that far eclipse the sum of casualties caused. A powerful tool in stifling enemy morale, snipers are best de- scribed as specialists in precision shooting and as resilient, highly skilled masters of stealth.

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QUAD Summit: Moving Closer to the Indo-Pacific?

Following a heated geopolitical arena on the Indo-Pacific, the QUAD leaders - Australia, India, Japan and the US - marked the Indo-Pacific era, in which Washington and Beijing are the two key figures. The QUAD’s leaders convened on the 24th of September at the White House to strengthen their security ties in “free” Indo-Pacific and counterweight China’s emerging power. The Indo-Pacific rivalry sheds light on a new bipolar system between the US and China. On the one hand, Washington is establishing a counterbalance to China’s geo-economic growth through other security alliances in the Indo-Pacific region, such as the trilateral pact AUKUS between Australia, the UK and the US. On the other hand, China is increasing its geo-economic efforts of dominance through Belt and Road Initiative/BRI program to build its Silk Road, and not only.

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Post-Merkel Europe: A New Strategic Playbook for Brussels?

While the Bundestag’s elections are ending Merkel’s legacy, they symbolise a new era for Brussels. For 16 years, Angela Merkel’s doctrine has been defending the “European unity” and balancing the European and Atlantic security policies (Buras & Puglerin, 2021). In the wake of heated geopolitical tensions, the future Berlin’s government will be expected to take on more responsibility to defend European interests. Given the rising strategic powers of Moscow and Beijing, and the shrinking of Washington’s presence on European soil, Brussels’ shift from “the responsibility to protect” to “the responsibility to act” is needed more than ever (Puglerin, 2021). On that note, this Info Flash raises the question of whether post-Merkel’s Berlin will deepen the EU’s security role, given Germany’s culture of restraint?

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