U.S State Department Approves Sale Project for Patriot Missiles to the Netherlands

The U.S Department of State has approved a possible military sale to the Government of the Netherlands of ninety-six PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (GEM-T) Ballistic Missiles and related equipment for an envisioned cost of $1.219 billion. The sale proposal scheme includes, in addition to the missiles, training and test equipment, spare and repair parts, technical assistance, logistic service and support equipment. The Department of State’s decision came after an intense week of dialogue with Netherlands, as the Dutch Defence Minister visited the Pentagon on 13 June, and with other allies, Washington hosted the Fourth Ukraine Defence Contact Group on 20 June.

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Latvia Plans to Increase Its Armed Forces by Reintroducing Compulsory Military Service

On 5 July 2022, Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks announced on Twitter that the Baltic country would undergo a programme to reintroduce compulsory military service. The decision came in response to the growing security concerns over possible Russian aggressive conduct. According to Pabkris’ post on the popular social platform, expanding the number of effective will serve as a deterrent against potential threats coming from its eastern neighbour. From 2007, the Latvian armed forces were composed of career soldiers and part-time serving volunteers, plus a limited number of NATO troops, but now, Pabriks stresses that the system has reached “its limit of power growth”.

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Counterterrorism in the EU: The New Agenda 2020-2025 and its Impact on Armed Forces Interoperability

Following the wave of terrorist attacks that shook Europe in 2015, policymakers in the EU realised the necessity to outline a comprehensive strategy to trace the path to fight against political extremism. Whether fuelled by ethnonationalism, religious, or ideological reasons, everyone wants to avoid the hundreds of deaths that plagued that year, and the following ones.

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Read more about the article The European Deterrence Initiative
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The European Deterrence Initiative

The European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), announced by the United States (U.S.) in 2014, reflects changes in the international security environment. It aims to help Eastern European allies deter Russia from further incursion into Europe following its annexation —in violation of international law— of Crimea from Ukraine and its continued military activity in the region.

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Read more about the article The Bundestag’s Denial of Armed Drones
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The Bundestag’s Denial of Armed Drones

The Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) has been using unarmed reconnaissance drones for decades and has recently called for approval for armed combat drones. However, this request has been blocked by the Center-left Social Democrats (SPD) – part of Germany's coalition government – in the German Parliament (The Bundestag). The Bundeswehr was expecting rapid approval from the Bundestag to arm the five Heron TP drones recently acquired from the Israeli manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). However, these drones will operate unarmed, as the vote for “armed drones” has been postponed indefinitely. SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans has argued that "the line between defending the lives and limbs of our soldiers and killing with a joystick is very thin" and that such a debate should deserve more time and serious discussion. Two questions arise from this situation: firstly, have other states banned armed drones? And secondly, would the decision to arm drones lead to an increase in conflicts or civilian deaths?

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