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The Military Balance 2018
[ ] 19.03.2018, 13:09

The Military Balance 2018

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  Editor’s Introduction
 Defence policymakers worldwide remain challenged by a complex and fractured security environment, marked by increased uncertainty in relations between states and the proliferation of advanced military capabilities. Attacks in 2017 highlighted the continuing threat from transnational terrorists. Persistent conflicts and insecurity in parts of Africa meant that the continent still demanded the deployment of significant combat forces by African and external powers. In the Middle East, the war against ISIS...
 Chapter I, Part I: Chinese and Russian air-launched weapons: a test for Western air dominance
 Since the end of the Cold War, the air domain has been one of assured superiority for the United States and its allies. This dominance, however, rests on weapons and technologies that China and Russia are increasingly attaining as part of a broader effort to counter US capabilities, and to deny US and allied forces unimpeded control of the air. These two nations – emerging and resurgent air powers, respectively
 Chapter I, Part II: Big data, artificial intelligence and defence
 Big-data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are points along a continuum that will progressively remove human beings from complex decision-making. The automation of inductive ‘reasoning’ and empirical modelling allows for improved pattern recognition of all sorts, ranging from identifying similar targets to predicting correlated behaviour. Currently, however, these largely involve algorithmic models operating on extremely large data sets rather than genuine cognition or abstract decision-making capabilities that would...
 Chapter I, Part III: Russia: strategic-force modernisation
 Nuclear weapons have long played a fundamental role in Russia’s national-security strategy. Moscow sees them as an essential aspect of strategic deterrence – which also comprises conventional and non-military capabilities – enabling it to maintain strategic stability and prevent military conflict. This suggests that Russia does not consider its nuclear capability in narrowly military terms, but rather relies on this to position itself as one of the guarantors of a...
 Chapter 2: Comparative defence statistics
 Comparative defence statistics Defence budgets and expenditure Armed unmanned aerial vehicles: production and procurement Key defence statistics China: People’s Liberation Army main battle tanks China: air-to-air missile progress Selected Chinese and Asia-Pacific regional naval shipbuilding since 2000
 Chapter 3: North America
 United States On 20 January 2017, Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. The administration quickly moved to take action on the issues Trump had emphasised in his campaign, including tackling perceived disparities over burden-sharing within the transatlantic alliance. In the campaign, Trump had questioned the relevance of NATO. During a May 2017 speech in Brussels, the president returned to the theme, chiding the Alliance’s European members for...
 Chapter 4: Europe
 Throughout 2017, a diverse threat environment and political uncertainty about the cohesiveness of NATO and the European Union continued to put pressure on European governments to strengthen their defence capabilities. In response to this, national governments have launched a series of collaborative initiatives and have adjusted their force postures and strategy. At the same time, many of these governments are augmenting defence budgets that have slowly begun to recover from...
 Chapter 5: Russia-Eurasia
 In 2017 Russia continued to pursue its aspiration to field a more modern suite of military capabilities and more professional armed forces held at a higher state of readiness. Elements of these forces continue to maintain and sustain the deployment to Syria, where Russian combat forces remain engaged across land, sea and air, and have proven instrumental to the Assad regime’s survival in the six-year-long civil war. Meanwhile, there are further...
 Chapter 6: Asia
 In the Asia-Pacific region, the influences on defence policy, military spending and equipment procurement, and on the development of armed forces’ capabilities, were as wide-ranging as ever in 2017. However, the most important were pervasive and persistent insecurity; economic circumstances that allowed for a relatively high – and in some cases increasing – allocation of national resources to the armed forces; and domestic political circumstances, which often helped to support...
 Chapter 7: Middle East and North Africa
 The region remains dominated by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, while regional governments also have to address threats from transnational terror groups. At the same time, states in the Gulf are increasingly concerned by Iran, particularly its support for Houthi forces in Yemen, and also its destabilising activities in the region more broadly, to say nothing of its continuing effort to develop its ballistic-missile capability. The fight...
 Chapter 8: Latin America and the Caribbean
 The increasingly unstable political, economic and social situation in Venezuela has highlighted not just the domestic actions of the government’s secur­ity and armed forces, and militias, but also tensions with neighbouring countries, such as Colombia and Guyana. For some states, worries about the situation in Venezuela were prompted not just by the domestic problems there, and the outflow into neighbouring states of some Venezuelan citizens fleeing the country, but also...
 Chapter 9: Sub-Saharan Africa
 Conflict and instability across parts of sub-Saharan Africa still constitute significant challenges to regional governments. A problem for regional states is that the requirement to deal with current threats risks absorbing the attention of defence establishments, possibly forestalling the defence-reform processes that might make responses to continental security threats more efficient. International involvement in these reform processes is important in terms of funding and organisational support. Meanwhile, the fact that some...
 Chapter 10: Country comparisons and defence data
 The Military Balance is the annual assessment of global military capabilities and defence economics. Detailed A–Z entries list each country's military organisation, personnel numbers, equipment inventories, and relevant economic and demographic data.
 Explanatory notes
 The Military Balance is the annual assessment of global military capabilities and defence economics. Detailed A–Z entries list each country's military organisation, personnel numbers, equipment inventories, and relevant economic and demographic data.
 Reference
 The Military Balance is the annual assessment of global military capabilities and defence economics. Detailed A–Z entries list each country's military organisation, personnel numbers, equipment inventories, and relevant economic and demographic data.
 

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