‘We are facing the creation of a climate of fear in Ukrainian society, aggressive rhetoric, indulging neo-Nazis and militarising the country. Along with that we are witnessing not just complete dependence but direct external control […] by foreign advisers, military “development” of the territory of Ukraine and deployment of NATO infrastructure’ (Putin, 2021).
Written by Domenico Farinelli In the early morning of 30th September 2022, heavy gunfire and explosions were heard in several parts of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital. Masked men blocked the main streets…
On 7 September 2022, the Iraqi supreme court ruled that the national parliament could not be dissolved if not by itself. In doing so, it rejected a key demand made by Moqtada al-Sadr, a 48-years-old Shiite cleric followed by millions all around the country, who had vehemently asked for early elections. Currently, he leads the largest political group inside the Iraqi parliament, controlling as many as 73 of the chamber’s 329 seats. The top court’s decision followed a period of turmoil and social unrest that had started in late August, when al-Sadr publicly announced that he was seriously considering withdrawing from politics. Since then, its supporters have engaged in numerous armed clashes with both security forces and rival militias, throwing the entire country into disarray. How can it be that Iraq’s main political force advocates for a return to the polls, instead of taking part in the nation’s government? The reason should be sought in the fierce rivalry that opposes different Iraqis Shiite parties and which is becoming increasingly violent.
Strategic analysis and the concept of security have undergone a major evolution since the end of the Cold War. Nowadays, threats are no longer exclusively location-based, but have become more horizontal and less defined. Their orientation assumes a hybrid shape, and they are becoming more difficult to frame, assess, and face. It is in this security context that NATO and the EU operate, a multipolar international system with players making use of unconventional warfare techniques, from the use of deniable proxies to new forms of pressure (e.g., energy supplies, foreign media control and propaganda, mobilisation of ethnic minorities abroad, cyber-attacks) to achieve their foreign policy goals.
Hypersonic technology is expected to revolutionise the way countries throughout the world can counter ballistic and nuclear attacks. With these technologies arises a new kind of arms race, putting today’s global balance of power at risk.