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Combat and armored cars in Spain (II)

The use of armored vehicles and tanks in Spain dates back to the beginning of the 70th century. It is a rich and curious history, in which national designs are mixed with those received from abroad, from the Soviet Union to the United States, passing through Germany and Italy, among others. If in the first part of this series of articles we talked about the first prototypes and programs, as well as the consolidation of this type of platform in Spain, in this second installment we address the first Modernization Plans of the Army, which have taken place since the 70s with disparate results. META (Plan for the Modernization of the Army) Studies on the so-called META Plan were initiated by the Plans Division of the Army General Staff in the late XNUMXs, with the [Keep reading…]

Articles

The Kharkov Offensive (I)

The Kharkov offensive has allowed the Ukrainian Armed Forces to recover more than 8.000 square kilometers of territory in a period of just one week, which is equivalent to approximately 8 percent of the land that Russia had taken since 2014. The most significant thing about this victory Operational, however, is not the ominous retreat to which the Russian Army has been forced, but the way in which the planning, accumulation and disinformation campaign that preceded it have been carried out. All so as not to arouse the suspicions of a Russia focused on the threat of Kherson and Zaporizhia, while Ukraine fell with just a few thousand men on an objective of opportunity. On September 6, news began to arrive about Ukrainian advances in the Kharkov region, specifically in [Keep reading…]

Articles

Strategic Transportation

The war in Ukraine has shown us once again the importance of Strategic Transport. In the Russian case, given the enormous distances to be traveled through a country that is the size of a continent. In Ukraine, due to the amount of supplies, systems and platforms sent by its allies throughout the world. However, there are not a few armies, including the Spanish Armed Forces, that neglect a fundamental capacity, especially when they are part of organizations such as the European Union and NATO, as is our case. Most confrontations or acts of war between sovereign countries take place across common borders. Even so, due to their extension or due to the resources that must be mobilized, both in personnel and in material means, they force their armies to [Keep reading…]

Articles

Chinook CH-47 "Delta" Spanish for firefighting

The terrible summer balance, which has left several dead in Spain and almost 300.000 hectares burned, added to the doubts about the future availability of the Ka-32 helicopters for firefighting, due to the tense global geopolitical situation, force us to look for a alternative. This is where the Army's CH-47 "Delta" come in, four of which could be assigned to these tasks -also offering important advantages and savings- if the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) reach an agreement. This 2022 we have suffered one of the hottest summers of the last five decades in which for numerous continuous days and since June, temperatures have been above forty degrees in many parts of the country that, together [Keep reading…]

Articles

The new Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation

On July 31, during the celebration of Navy Day, President Vladimir Putin approved a new Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation that lists the main maritime ambitions of the country, a doctrine that for the first time emphasizes transport shipping and international logistics centers, seeking to be increasingly global[1]. On the last Sunday of July, Russia traditionally celebrates a huge public holiday - Navy Day. On this day the Russian people and the world have the opportunity to admire the power of their navy, and especially that of their Fleet. The naval parade is the main attraction, taking place at the main bases, the most important being, without a doubt, the one held in Saint Petersburg, where the signing of the document to which [Keep reading…]

Articles

The Strategic Compass of the European Union

The Strategic Compass of the European Union is a key document in the future of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). After a long process of study and negotiation, what is the EU's first defense strategy was approved on March 21, in a scenario marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began when the text had already been drawn up. Perhaps for this reason, the Strategic Compass was born somewhat out of date and is not the most appropriate document to face the future challenges of the EU, even though it is a sufficiently comprehensive text. It must be understood that it was "now or never" and that, from the perspective of Brussels, the political momentum should be used to approve this text instead of starting anew a process that has [Keep reading…]

Articles

The Ukrainian War and the Mosaic War

The war in Ukraine is another warning of the advent of a new type of warfare - mosaic warfare - and of the end of the era of the predominance of large machines in favor of armed forces equipped with smaller war platforms. The mosaic war theory helps to understand this new technological trend, which will be accentuated over time, and with the maturation of several key aspects that we have already been able to verify in the war in Ukraine. When Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the consensus was that the Russian military would prevail in a matter of weeks or even a few months. The Russian forces formed a theoretically very powerful mechanized army: it was equipped with a large number of battle tanks, it had an artillery [Keep reading…]

Articles

Breaching: Special Operations procedure

When an operational team is taking direct action, events unfold very quickly and sometimes unpredictably. This can bring with it that in some situations critical circumstances occur in terms of the time of action, requiring the execution of a quick and violent entry with which to save the life of the target to be recovered, with which to avoid reprisals on possible victims. that are inside the building, to preserve known evidence (subsequent TEO-Technical Exploitation Operation) or, on the contrary, to neutralize the enemy without giving him time to react. This is where breaching techniques become essential*. The last two decades of this XNUMXst century have been marked by a geopolitical scenario in constant movement and change, as well as by successive conflicts that confront us with a clearly defined enemy of [Keep reading…]

Articles

The war between Russia and Ukraine in the cyber domain

Before the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, this state was already noted for the hyperactivity and lack of stealth in its cyber activities. NotPetya, SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, were just some examples that allowed us to observe the offensive capabilities that Russia had in cyberspace. Although this situation has been considerably altered by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, since Russia has seen war as a way of testing its abilities in the cyber domain on a large scale, it is also true that, far from what they could have thought a lot of experts, the "cyber-armageddon" has not occurred. In fact, one of the big questions that has been asked since the invasion began – and which we will try to answer in the following lines – is: “where is the cyber warfare?” Jason Healey, member [Keep reading…]

Articles

Xi'an YY-20

Some time ago, in our first issue to be exact, we published an article in which the Xian Y-20 was referred to as the "true Chinese Revolution". Thus, regardless of the developments that the Asian giant has presented in terms of fighter aircraft, missiles or warships, without strategic transport aviation worthy of the name, its plans to be a global power would be very difficult to implement. . With the Xian Y-20 they took a firm step towards that goal and now, with the YY-20 aerial refueling variant, they have managed to go one step further, which is well worth an article. Anyone who has followed the trajectory of this Magazine from its origins will remember that, in the first issue launched on the market four years ago, there was a small gap for it, [Keep reading…]

Articles

The arms race between Morocco and Algeria

Between Morocco and Algeria there is an important strategic competition that requires analysis. As is well known, the arms race is a "fundamental variable in international strategic stability that serves as a possible predictor of armed conflicts between countries" (Colom, Pulido and Guillamó, 2021, p. 19). The relationship between the arms race and war is an important issue within strategic studies that has yet to be resolved, since the increase in military spending to obtain an advantage against an adversary is not something new (Gibler, Rider and Hutchinson, 2005, p132). It is evident that there is an arms race between Morocco and Algeria that responds to a series of reasons that will be seen throughout this work. However, before it will be necessary to specify the concept and for this it will be necessary to [Keep reading…]

Articles

Long Range Loitering Munitions

The Ukraine War has served to confirm something that has been widely speculated on in recent years: modern warfare favors defensive over offensive. At least as far as the land and air domains are concerned, since the generalization of anti-tank weapons and the multiplication of sensors on the battlefield in the case of the former, as well as the extension of integrated air defense networks in the case of of the second, they make in-depth combined arms operations increasingly difficult, unless it has a series of capabilities that right now only seem to be within the reach of the United States, such as Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD). This is not the first time in history that something similar has happened. construction [Keep reading…]

Strategy

Strategy

Russia, China, Turkey and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

The 2022 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO (SCO) has just ended this week in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). The SCO was founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to discuss economic and security issues in Central Asia, with a focus on fighting terrorism and strengthening trade ties. After traveling a long way, it has become the largest regional organization in the world, concentrating more than half of the population of our planet. India and Pakistan gained full membership in 2017; Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia have observer status, while Turkey ranks lower as a "dialogue partner." Iran just gained full membership at the last Samarkand Summit [Keep reading…]

Strategy

ORBAT invasion of Ukraine 2022 (Ukraine)

The war in Ukraine continues its course after more than five months of fighting. More than 160 days in which we have been publishing daily reports with the movements on the ground and also in the international arena, since the war is waged on many levels. We have also published several specific articles to help understand some of the more notable actions, or else the root causes of the conflict, the forces at play, etc. However, until now we had not published the Order of Battle (ORBAT) of the opposing sides, given the extreme difficulty of creating a reliable document. After the publication of the Order of Battle of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, which you can consult here, it is the turn of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, even more difficult, as there is much less documentation on the matter [Keep reading…]

Strategy

ORBAT invasion of Ukraine 2022 (Russia)

The war in Ukraine continues its course after nearly five months of fighting. More than 140 days in which we have been publishing daily reports with the movements on the ground and also in the international arena, since the war is waged on many levels. We have also published several specific articles to help understand some of the more notable actions, or else the root causes of the conflict, the forces at play, etc. However, until now we had not published the Order of Battle (ORBAT) of the opposing sides, given the extreme difficulty of creating a reliable document. After a lot of effort, which can be seen in the number of sources consulted, and since it is something that you have insistently asked us, here is the first part, which corresponds to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. [Keep reading…]

Strategy

Disaster in Bilohorivka

The Russian disaster when trying to cross the Donets River in the direction of Bilohorivka will be studied in all military academies. Russian losses in the operation range from 285 to 485 casualties and 93 vehicles destroyed or abandoned at Bilohorivka alone and around 1.500 casualties among all crossing attempts and over 150 vehicles lost. Still, it was a bold attempt that might otherwise have caused serious damage to the defenders of Severodonetsk. At the end of March 2022, the annexation of large tracts of Ukrainian soil by Russia and the overthrow of the Zelensky government by a pro-Moscow 'puppet', imposed by Russia through military action and made up of allies and minions to the Kremlin , proved to be a real chimera. Once the impossibility of the [Keep reading…]

Strategy

Rare earths in the strategic competition between great powers

Strategic competition between great powers takes place in different areas and scenarios. In this sense, one of the assets available to the People's Republic of China, an actor that openly acknowledges the existence of such competition, are rare earths. These have been used in the past by Beijing as a geopolitical weapon in disputes with other states in order to ensure the achievement of its own interests. Recognising the PCCh the need to control the global supply of the same and taking into consideration the dependence of the rest of the actors both for their production systems and even for the transition towards green energies, the place they occupy in the present competition should be analysed and how affected actors view and address such dependency. Rare earths as a geostrategic element Rare earths are essential elements in the [Keep reading…]

Strategy

The Chinese FOBS and Limited Nuclear Options

On October 16, the American newspaper Financial Times published what, in the world of Strategic Studies, was a real bomb: the supposed test, by China, of a fractional orbital bombardment system or FOBS (Fractional Orbital Bombardent System) combined with a hypersonic missile. The advantages of FOBS lie in their ability to attack by orbital flight, which is why they can describe unpredictable trajectories and with a flight profile that makes it very difficult to detect, track and intercept them with anti-missile systems or space weapons. Adding to the advantages of orbital flight is that in the terminal phase of the attack the weapon re-enters the atmosphere and attacks as a hypersonic glide missile (HGV). Together, the sum of the characteristics of the FOBS and the HGV provides some [Keep reading…]

Strategy

The AUKUS, nuclear submarines and Australia's Grand Strategy

Australia's announcement that it will acquire at least 8 nuclear-powered attack submarines has come as a remarkable surprise, especially as it was accompanied by another announcement with even more profound consequences: the formation of the AUKUS between the US, the UK and Australia itself. It is true that for years in specialized defense circles it had been considered that Australia needed nuclear attack submarines. Already in 2009, the Australian cabinet then in power ruled that the nuclear option was excluded to replace the nationally designed Collins-class diesel-electric submarines (very problematic and of low operability). In various studies on the future of the Australian submarine weapon, such as this one from the 2012 ASPI entitled “Mind the gap. Getting serious about submarines”, three options were explored, one of them being [Keep reading…]

Strategy

Insularity and global geopolitics

One of the most alluded features of the Cold War refers to the dimensions of the confrontation that took place between the main state powers of the time: the United States and the Soviet Union. Humanity had already witnessed rivalries of a similar nature at various times in the past but, for the first time in history, technological advances led to the struggle taking to planetary levels —and even reaching outer space—. However, it is also necessary to recognize that this global dimension of bipolar tension did not manifest itself in the same way in all parts of the world or with the same intensity[1]. In fact, there were long periods in which a good number of regions—generally those outside the Americas and Eurasia—were largely left out of this confrontation. One of the most [Keep reading…]

Strategy

The new missile base of the Chinese nuclear force

On Thursday it became known that China is building 119 silos for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), probably of the DF-41 type. The finding is potentially one more step in the probable radical change in the structure of China's nuclear force, something that the Asian country has been carrying out for a few years. However, the news does not totally surprise analysts and observers of China's nuclear strategy. For some years, there has been a growing number of indications and rumors that China is updating and modifying its conservative nuclear strategy, which consisted of keeping a very small number of warheads and low levels of alert, moving towards a much more numerous arsenal. and with alert levels comparable to those of Russia and the US. Without going any further, in 2017 I wrote in Revista [Keep reading…]

Strategy

Strategic competition between great powers

That the United States has been the hegemonic power during the last decades is an incontestable fact. However, the emergence of the People's Republic of China and its growing importance have raised doubts about the continuity of US leadership and hegemony. The era of strategic competition between great powers has arrived and the relationship between the two states will determine the course of our century. Particularly as a result of recent events, one of the scenarios where such a competition could take place has been the Republic of China or, also known, Taiwan, one of the most painful vestiges of Chinese humiliation and a place where the actions of the great powers will have impact on the tone of the competition that will take place over the next few years. Strategic competition between great powers is one of the main current issues in [Keep reading…]

Strategy

Arms race

On too many occasions we abuse expressions such as "arms race" or "arms race", when referring, for example, to the situation in the Mediterranean and the purchases carried out by states such as Morocco and Algeria, or Greece, Turkey and Egypt. It is something in which we all fall -and we the first-, because it is easy to get carried away by the heat of the moment, momentarily forgetting the rigor. The concept of «arms race», however, tries to explain a much more complex reality than is believed and, therefore, deserves some deepening. When we use the term "arms race" we intuitively understand that it is a situation in which two or more states successively carry out important arms acquisitions or developments, in a kind of feedback process in which advances one's [Keep reading…]

Strategy

ZAPAD 2017

Four years ago, the Russian Federation carried out the ZAPAD 2017 exercises. The media, especially European media, gave absolutely incredible figures about the number of men and materials involved in them. They even talked about the possibility that these maneuvers actually served to camouflage an upcoming invasion of the Baltic Republics. The truth is that, despite the spectacular nature of the figures offered, the truth behind the exercises was very different and the NATO-Russia military balance was never in a strategic situation of instability in favor of Moscow. Along the next lines, a detailed explanation of the strategic reality before, during and after ZAPAD 2017 is offered, with the hope that it will serve to avoid similar situations *. Introduction A great stir has arisen, in the face of a hypothetical threat from [Keep reading…]

Cyberdefence

Cyberdefence

The risks of digital democracies

Digital democracies, understood not only as those that are digitizing the voting process, but also as those in which citizens have extensive access to the Internet, run the double risk of being attacked both during the holding of the elections themselves, through cyberattacks, such as through disinformation campaigns. Given that digitization -at least in some aspects- does not seem reversible, protection measures will have to be established to prevent a repetition of what happened in electoral campaigns such as the 2016 US election or the May 2019 elections to the European Parliament. Virtually all electoral systems in democratic countries predate the Internet and social networks, so obviously they were not originally designed to prevent possible external interference. Until only a decade ago it was unthinkable that a State could [Keep reading…]

Articles

The war between Russia and Ukraine in the cyber domain

Before the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, this state was already noted for the hyperactivity and lack of stealth in its cyber activities. NotPetya, SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, were just some examples that allowed us to observe the offensive capabilities that Russia had in cyberspace. Although this situation has been considerably altered by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, since Russia has seen war as a way of testing its abilities in the cyber domain on a large scale, it is also true that, far from what they could have thought a lot of experts, the "cyber-armageddon" has not occurred. In fact, one of the big questions that has been asked since the invasion began – and which we will try to answer in the following lines – is: “where is the cyber warfare?” Jason Healey, member [Keep reading…]

Cyberdefence

Disinformation operations in cyberspace

In the age of communications, where social networks have taken on a particularly relevant role in Western societies, together with the phenomenon of cyberattacks, an even more intangible security vulnerability has been verified: the existence of disinformation campaigns in the Internet. cyberspace in order to modify public opinion and existing currents of thought in society. However, despite its new propagation vector in the cyber domain (social networks), the phenomenon of disinformation is not a new tool in conflicts. Already in the 1933th century BC, the Chinese General Sun Tzu pointed out that "the art of war is deception". (Sun Tzu). And closer to our time, between the years 1945 and XNUMX, we could appreciate all the power of disinformation as a weapon of [Keep reading…]

Cyberdefence

Pegasus as a case study

The governmental and institutional crisis -within the CNI- caused by the "Pegasus case" should serve as a wake-up call. Beyond the political interests behind the case, it is convenient to study in depth how these types of tools are used, the economic costs, but also in terms of security, how they fit into the intelligence cycle and the party that can be used from them. get. Offering the Government lines of action that allow it to anticipate the actions of the adversary, knowing its strategic plans, reducing costs and increasing political or military benefits is the objective that any information service should pursue. Methods of encryption and decryption date back to antiquity, with the oldest known encrypted 'document' being a clay tablet found in XNUMXth-century BC Iraq; circa XNUMXst century [Keep reading…]

Cyberdefence

WhisperGate

On January 14, 2022, in the midst of an escalation of tension with the Russian Government, the Kiev authorities announced that more than 70 of their national organizations had been compromised in the face of a new cyberattack supposedly coming from Russia and for which would have known about the WhisperGate malware. Unlike previous attacks, in many cases massive, everything indicates that in this case the tool was designed to measure against Ukraine. Specifically, the malware responsible for the cyberattack, later named WhisperGate, appeared according to Microsoft for the first time on Ukrainian systems on January 13, 2022[1] (Microsoft, 2022). However, just hours after the cyberattack, both the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security warned in a statement of the existence of signs [Keep reading…]

Cyberdefence

China in cyberspace

We know little about China in cyberspace. Increasingly, the media reports about more or less malicious activities, from cyber attacks to information theft, often suspecting the communist regime. However, very little is written about the way in which the People's Republic of China conceives of cyberspace and how it has to act in it, or the implications that the need to operate in the "fifth domain" has for facing the modernization of its Armed Forces. The perceptions that human beings have of the world around them are not immutable or universal. And equally, the conceptions that as individuals we generate to understand it are not either, since these are necessarily biased by an infinity of environmental factors (social, historical, cultural, political, etc.).   [Keep reading…]

Cyberdefence

Morocco in cyberspace

Currently, due to the technological development that the world has experienced, cyberthreats represent one of the greatest risks faced by private companies, citizens and States –in the latter case, without distinction of their economic, international or political importance. For this reason, studying the role of Morocco in cyberspace and the way in which our neighbor conceives this domain is of vital importance for Spain. In this focus we will try to observe the impact that cyberthreats can have on Morocco, the vision of the Alawite regime on cybersecurity and cyberdefense, and based on this, analyze whether our neighbor has the necessary capacity in cyberspace to pose a threat. relevant to our country. The importance of the cyber sector in Morocco As for the rest of the states, cyber threats mean for Morocco, its companies and [Keep reading…]

Cyberdefence

Russia in cyberspace

Russia's activities in cyberspace are a hot topic today. The profit that the Eurasian giant obtains from the fifth domain as part of its Information Warfare campaigns is difficult to measure, however, the persistence with which it acts and the importance it gives to its operations are clear indicators of its profitability. In recent years, the Eurasian country has achieved well-known milestones, while still officially relying on plausible deniability, thus trying to avoid an unprofitable escalation. Over the next few lines we are going to try to explain in detail what Russia is looking for in cyberspace, which actors are involved and what is its conception of operations in this vital domain. Since, in 2007, the Russian Federation demonstrated its offensive capacity in [Keep reading…]

Cyberdefence

Deterrence in cyberspace

Like any other domain that can be used for military purposes, two types of positions can be taken in cyberspace: offensive and dissuasive. However, given the relative youth of the cyber domain, there is still a bitter debate among experts as to whether or not it is possible to apply classical military deterrence theories to it. Throughout the next ones we will try to offer a review and an explanation of the main dissuasive measures that can be put into practice in cyberspace and their usefulness. The use of cyberspace as one of the strategic domains in which the great powers deploy their actions and the observation of the destabilizing potential that cyberattacks can generate in national security, has forced states to rethink military strategies and doctrines of shape according to [Keep reading…]

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