Rethinking Military Service in Europe

From 2023 Latvia will rely again on conscription, after abandoning it in 2007, when the country joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The decision was taken to strengthen army forces, that now rely only on 7,500 active soldiers and national guardsmen (Euronews, 2022). The Russian invasion of Ukraine created the need to reinforce the army potential, and conscription – the mandatory enlistment of people in the national armed forces of their citizenship country – helps to reach this goal by increasing the number of reservists. The Latvian Ministry of Defence plans to recruit some 500 young men aged 18-27 twice a year; Riga hopes the quotas will initially be filled by volunteers, with the compulsoriness becoming effective only at a later stage (Balčiūnas, 2022).

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A Coordinated European Response to Hybrid Threats

In recent years, the topic of hybrid threats has become increasingly critical until being considered the 21st security challenge. Whereas the concept of hybrid threats may be considered new, linked to the developments of new technologies, it is not. Many of the tools of hybrid warfare are old, with the main exception being represented by the ones belonging to the cyber realm. However, the development of new technologies boosted the use of old tools, such as propaganda, by lowering their costs. Undoubtedly, the new reality in which we live increases the effectiveness of hybrid threats, because their strength lies in the possibility of combining activities and tools from different arenas. For example, the changes in the information and media landscape made the domain appealing to state and non-state actors for disinformation activities.

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U.S Army Decline: A Comparative Look at American and European Armies

On 4 April 2022, The American Defence Department announced that their budget request would entail a policy shrinking of the army services by 12,000 troops leading to an overall 473,000 soldiers left in 2023. In a fragile period, due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which has led several European countries to reinforce their military services, the U.S is taking a somewhat oxymoron path. The main reason behind the U.S Army’s decision to cut down on soldiers is because the recruitment process has come across several hindrances which push young people away, especially in the past few years. In other words, according to an army official, the institution struggled to achieve the recruitment goal for 2022 and will probably not reach the 2023 goal based on the previous year. Army officials suggest that this is one of the most challenging eras for recruitment since 1973.

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European Strategy in the Indo-Pacific Region

The ongoing geostrategic competition in the South Chinese Sea and the Indo-Pacific region, more broadly, is frequently thought of as a struggle between the USA and China. However, the deployment of both British and French naval assets in the Indo-Pacific makes clear that it is very much a European issue as well (Jennings, 2018; Loh, 21).

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Eurodrone Has a New Engine: Airbus Selects Avio Aereo Solutions

On 25 March, Airbus Defence and Space has finally unveiled that the Italian Avio Aero will be the company that will power the Eurodrone aerial system with a new twin-turboprop propulsion engine. After years of negotiations about the project and following a competitive tender process, the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems – MALE RPAS (Eurodrone) sees a step forward in its construction.

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