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.


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.

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The EU & Lula: A New Age of Cooperation

This Info Flash explores the implications of the rise to power of Brazil’s new president, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva. Commonly seen as the antithesis of the previous president, Jair Bolsonaro, Lula has already made significant changes to Brazil’s position on the global stage since his inauguration five months ago. It is likely that there will be a growth in the investment of EU-Brazil cooperation, which will in turn affect European politics, economies, and even security. Though Lula’s approach to politics is generally more accepted in Europe, issues may arise due to Brazil’s neutrality towards Russia’s war on Ukraine. The final section of the text touches on cybersecurity, as significant advancements were made in Lula’s previous term as president. The field is relatively developed in Latin America, and investing in it can be beneficial for European security.

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Military Courts in the International Scene

This Info Flash reviews the structures of military courts, addressing how they function and the legal statues of these bodies. Additionally, it analyses several examples of relevant case law solved by international courts, namely, the Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court. Finally, the paper is concluded by providing some recommendations regarding how military courts can become more effective.

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