The End of the Prague Spring – Fifty Years On

DR GERAINT HUGHES On the night of the 20th-21st August 1968, Soviet paratroopers and spetsnaz soldiers seized Ruzyne airport outside Prague, proceeding subsequently to take over key points in the Czechoslovak capital. The following day, 22 Soviet Army divisions – augmented by contingents from four other ‘fraternal’ Warsaw Pact states (Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic,… Read More The End of the Prague Spring – Fifty Years On

Military identities, conventional capability and the politics of NATO standardisation at the beginning of the Second Cold War, 1970-1980

DR ALEX GOULD & DR MATTHEW FORD The need to standardise equipment, weapons and doctrine in NATO was recognized as a strategic imperative from the onset of the Cold War. As Eliot Cohen noted in an article published in Foreign Policy in 1978, ‘non-standardised armies require unique and separate supply lines, making wide-ranging manoeuvres difficult…neighbouring troops… Read More Military identities, conventional capability and the politics of NATO standardisation at the beginning of the Second Cold War, 1970-1980

THE RETURN OF GORSHKOV AND THE NEW COLD WAR AT SEA

KEVIN ROWLANDS Commander Kevin Rowlands is a naval officer who was awarded a PhD in 2015 through the Defence Studies Department.  He is the editor of 21st Century Gorshkov, recently published by the US Naval Institute Press.  In the following post he argues the origins of Russia’s current maritime strategy can be traced to the… Read More THE RETURN OF GORSHKOV AND THE NEW COLD WAR AT SEA

‘TOTAL NATIONAL STRATEGY’: A CAUTIONARY TALE

DR GERAINT HUGHES Concepts of grand strategy generally stress the requirement of governments to outline clear strategic goals, and to ensure that all elements of national power are co-ordinated by ministers and senior officials (civil service and military) to achieve them. In recent history, one state achieved the apparent success of devising a ‘total’ strategy… Read More ‘TOTAL NATIONAL STRATEGY’: A CAUTIONARY TALE

General Sir John Hackett’s The Third World War: Or, How to Think about a Future War with Russia Today

DR JEFF MICHAELS In the vast majority of cases, scenarios of future war have rarely come to pass as originally envisioned. At least two inter-related reasons can account for this. First, due to the incredibly large number of variables to consider – geopolitical, technical, human, etc. – it is simply impossible to calculate how they… Read More General Sir John Hackett’s The Third World War: Or, How to Think about a Future War with Russia Today

Walking a Tightrope: NATO, Russia, Islamic State and the new brinkmanship

DR ELLEN HALLAMS During the first week of February I was asked to deliver a talk at the annual Norwegian Air Power Conference at the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy in Trondheim. The theme this year was ‘NATO: Threats and Challenges’ and I was asked to reflect on whether NATO today has common threats and… Read More Walking a Tightrope: NATO, Russia, Islamic State and the new brinkmanship