Lebanon’s Crippling Crisis: Prospects for a Further EU Involvement in the Country’s Stability

The Mediterranean region and the European continent are inextricably linked from a geographical, historical, and strategic point of view. For this simple reason, it is impossible for the countries that lie on the two shores of this almost-closed sea to ignore each other for a long time. Consequently, international cooperation between them has always been intense, being reinforced by strong cultural and economic ties. Nevertheless, due to the high degree of instability that traditionally affects this area, the EU’s foreign policy towards many of its southern neighbours has usually been dominated by the theme of the security–development nexus. Lebanon is no exception. Having its modern history characterized by recurring social unrest, economic crises and civil wars, this small country has often drawn the attention of European policymakers. In 2019 the nation that was once called “the Switzerland of Middle East” has fallen again into a severe political paralysis and started to experience a deep economic downturn, which undermines inter alia the normal implementation of cooperation programmes with the EU (World Bank, 2021) The general election held in May 2022 was intended to put an end to this situation, but it didn’t. For as long as the crisis perseveres, risk Lebanon risks falling into another devastating civil war is becoming feasible. Therefore, stronger European engagement to maintain the country’s stability seems to be a matter of necessity, and it could be one of the last opportunities to save Lebanon from sinking.

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Why Chip Production is a National Security Issue

When we talk about “semiconductors,” we are talking about microchips. Microchips are in everything from cars to cell phones to missiles but having the fastest and most powerful microchips is essential to maintaining a military advantage (Zeiger, 2022). Nowadays the production of microchips grows exponentially and Moore, an electronics engineer who went on to run Intel predicted that the number of transistors on a silicon chip would double roughly every two years (Gianfagna, 2021). This projection is now known as Moore’s Law. Sixty years ago, four transistors could fit on a given chip, whereas today the number is closer to 11.8 billion (Heffernan, 2022).

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The Russia – Iran Strategic Partnership in the Shadow of Ukraine’s War

Closer ties between Putin’s Russia and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of security cooperation (voennoe sotrudnichestvo) has attracted significant attention from Western foreign policy-makers and academic scholars in recent years. Diplomatic isolation and commonly shared dissatisfaction with the long-established American hegemony has driven both countries into a pragmatic, stable and mutually beneficial rapprochement nearly a decade after a new chapter in their relationships was opened in 2012 (Ghadbeigy, 2017). By this time the return of Vladimir Putin to power was clearly interpreted as marking a watershed moment in Russian foreign policy doctrine and strategies that had long since been in vogue under the rule of Dmitriy Medvedev (Kozhanov, 2015).

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Cargo Drones May Be the Future of Delivery Service

Cargo Drones, Cargo Air Vehicles, or Heavy Lift Drones are the latest in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, technology. These pieces of equipment are being developed to transport cargo manually, remotely, and autonomously and may be used in civilian and military applications (Using cargo drones in last-mile delivery | Deloitte, 2018). Boasting impressive carrying power, cargo drones can lift anywhere from 2.26 to 2449.39 kilograms (Team, 2021). This carrying power establishes new possibilities for the delivery of packages without direct human involvement and may therefore be used to deliver lifesaving supplies to dangerous locations. The technology is also more environmentally friendly than traditional delivery services. Cargo drones are most commonly “electric or hybrid-electric vehicles with four or more rotors” (Using cargo drones in last-mile delivery | Deloitte, 2018). Some cargo drones can take off and land from a standing position, known as either an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicle or VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicle. VTOL makes cargo drones more versatile than cargo planes as they do not require a runway for operation. Many companies are in the process of developing proprietary cargo drone technology to improve upon traditional forms of delivery services.

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Short-Term Necessities and Long-Term Implications of the Russian “Partial Mobilisation” Call

After the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson in August, on the 21th of September Putin launched a call for “partial mobilisation” of Russian men between the ages of 18 and 50, with the aim of enlisting 300,000 soldiers amongst the reservists and former military personnel (Il Post, 2022). Three weeks later, the recruitment operation is said to have enlisted over 200,000 people, as stated by the Russian Defence Minister Shoigu (Cancian, 2022) (Il Post, 2022). Even if it is early to say, Russia is calculating whether the new recruits should be sent to the front without proper training as “cannon fodder” (Bathon, 2022), or whether to send them to the 80 camps and 6 training centres outlined by the Russian Defence Minister (Il Post, 2022). Currently the decision appears to be somewhere in between the two, with some of the recruits trained for fewer than three days before being sent to the front, while others completing the training phase.

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