Mandatory military conscription in Europe: addressing past or present threats?

This Info Flash aims to shed light on the case of Latvia, which passed a law in April 2023 calling for the mandatory reintroduction of military conscription after it was abolished in 2007. A perspective on the possible downfalls of such defence policy is analysed, while also contextualising the growing support for mandatory military service across the EU in the 21st century. A brief historical analysis also portrays the main reasons why it was abandoned by most European countries over the course of the last two decades and how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has generated a U-turn in defence policy in the Latvian case.


UN MINUSMA Mission: European Withdrawal and the Future of Mali

This Info Flash examines the motives behind the withdrawal of German and French forces from MINUSMA and analyses the reasons behind Mali's strengthened cooperation with Russia. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was established to address the instability caused by jihadist and separatist groups in Mali and tackle long-standing structural issues. The mission's objectives include stabilizing population centers, rebuilding the security sector, implementing disarmament programs, facilitating national dialogue, and ensuring fair elections. Today, Mali is experiencing a deteriorating security scenario with escalating violence, intercommunal clashes, and jihadist attacks. In this context, Mali has turned to Russia for support through the presence of Wagner Group mercenaries, increasing security risks which further influenced the decision to withdraw European contingents. This raises more questions about the country’s future and the MINUSMA mission. Finally, recommendations are provided to enhance the MINUSMA mission's effectiveness and improve Mali's security situation.


Paramilitary Groups Cross-border Incursions from Ukraine in Belgorod Region

On the 22nd of May, there was a two-day incursion in the Western Russian borderlands led by two paramilitary groups in opposition to the Russian regime, namely the Liberty of Russia Legion (LSR) and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), whose aim is to dismantle Putin’s government and claims (BBC, 2023). The two legions were set up during Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They attracted Russian volunteer fighters willing to fight against their own country alongside Ukraine and topple Putin’s regime (EURACTIV, 2023). The two groups differ from one another. However, each group is characterised by supremacist and extremist fighters.


United with Ukraine: International Support for Ukraine goes from strength to strength as Western Powers Support the delivery of F16 Fighter Jets

International governments have pledged military assistance for Ukraine since Russia invaded in February of 2022. This support has yet again grown with the UK and Netherlands vowing to form an “International Coalition” with the express purpose of providing training and F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine (Kent et al., 2023, para. 1). Since the Russian invasion last February, the US has given $19.3 billion in aid, the UK £2.3 billion, and the EU as a coalition have transferred €3.1 million, most of which is in the form of lethal platforms and weapons (Mills & Curtis, 2023, p. 4).


Is AUKUS and Australia’s pledge to acquire nuclear-powered submarines a turning point in Indo-Pacific power relations?

This Info Flash focuses on the creation of the AUKUS partnership, with the main aim being that of assisting the Australian Navy in the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs). The agreement raised concerns regarding the possibility of escalating tensions between China and Taiwan (Sabbagh et al. 2021). Nevertheless, despite vocal dissent from China and France, the agreement has gone ahead. The beginning of the Australian SSNs' military journey inevitably marks an important moment for the delineation of Indo-Pacific security lines. While American President Joe Biden insists that the arrival of submarines to the Australian coasts should not be understood as an act of aggression towards China (Holland & Brunnstrom, 2023), tensions remain in the region. This work assesses how the acquisition of SSNs has impacted Australian military capability and how the developments introduced in March 2023 have the potential to reshape contemporary nuclear warfare and the equilibrium of the Indo-Pacific region.

Comments Off on Is AUKUS and Australia’s pledge to acquire nuclear-powered submarines a turning point in Indo-Pacific power relations?