The Military Balance 2010

The Military Balance 2010

Publisher: Routledge - London

The annual edition of the publication has been launched on 3 February 2010, at the Arundel House Conference Hall in London, and it has been presented by Dr. John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), together with the main authors of this edition.

The Military Balance is the International Institute for Strategic Studies- annual assessment of the military capabilities and defense economics of 170 countries world-wide.

This year's Military Balance examines key issues including the conflict in Afghanistan; the development of Iraq's security forces; the debate over NATO's strategic concept and operations in Afghanistan; an update on EU military operations; the progress of reforms in the Russian armed forces; military developments in Africa, including conflicts and the progress of the African Standby Force initiative; and developments in China's People's Liberation Army. The book examines wider defense developments in East Asia and Australasia; South and Central Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; Europe; the Middle East and North Africa; and North America.

The book highlights the factors which can lead to new armed conflicts in this century: the population increase, urbanization, migration, extremism, climatic changes, health and food security.

The issue of cybernetic warfare has become a major priority, and although there were cybernetic attacks, too little international concern is manifested in order to define the means to assess such a conflict.

In Afghanistan, the sudden increase of the number of troops and the reconciliation process, of Taliban accepting the current political situation, those are essential elements of the new strategy that can bring a negotiated peace in this country.

Iraq is still confronted with profound challenges that could impede on its progress, the provincial elections (January 2009) have been successful, but the national elections scheduled for 7 March indicate a continuous disagreement of the leading elite. In August the size of the American troops in Iraq will drop from 115,000 to 50,000 and they will withdraw completely until December 2010, which means new ways have to be found to manage the political and security disputes within the country and also to limit the external regional influences.

Iran's nuclear preoccupations and the development of an own missile program have caused concern of some states which are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), so they have purchased the latest military equipment available. In 2008, the United Arab Emirates spent 9.7 billion dollars, and Saudi Arabia spent 8.7 billion dollars on armament purchase.

The book underlines the fact that many states have diminished or frozen their defense expenses, whereas China and India have increased their expenses in that field in 2009, by 15% and respectively by 21%.

The work relation NATO/Russia is one of the immediate priorities, as Russia has supported ISAF by ensuring resources supply on railways from the Latvian ports or transiting Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In this context, a reform of the NATO-Russia Council is necessary or maybe even replacing it with a body which could better respond the needs of NATO and of Russia.

The book is an essential resource for those involved in security policymaking, analysis and research.

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