“Military Balance 2012” is published: regional conflicts are included

London international institute of strategic researches published the report “Military Balance 2012”. The report can be found on the official web-site of  the institute.

This year’s Military Balance sees further improvements to the book’s presentation, information and assessments. The land data sections have been revised to improve understanding of the combined-arms capabilities of modern land forces and the book carries extra detail on armies’ combat support, such as engineering assets. We analyse policy and defense economics questions for the countries with the largest defense budgets in greater detail than before. For many nations, the IISS this year includes brief textual summaries of countries’ military capabilities to help inform readers’ understanding of the numerical data. Also for the first time, the book has brief assessments of individual states’ cyber capacities, including relevant organisations and assessed capabilities.

Concepts associated with this emerging realm – such as what constitutes military cyber power – remain matters of debate. Last year the IISS published an Adelphi book entitled Cyberspace and the State. In it, the authors noted that military cyber power could be defined as ‘the use, or threatened use, of cyberspace and other resources to effect strategic aims in and through cyberspace against the resistance or wishes of others.’ Of course, what assets, doctrines and experience states deploy are vital to any such assessment, and The Military Balance will expand this analysis for more countries in future editions”, the press statement of the report tells.

It devotes a separate part to the situation in the Middle East. “One lesson of recent events in the Middle East and North Africa is that what have seemed on paper to be extensive and modern combat forces have been exposed as relatively small cores of favoured and well-equipped troops of which the primary purpose is to bolster regimes. Further, the degree of involvement of leaders’ families in the armed forces has proved influential: in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, where the security services remained cohesive or fought back, relatives of the rulers were entrusted with key command responsibilities; in Tunisia and Egypt, where there were no rulers’ relations in senior army and police positions, the regular military distanced itself from the regime”, the report says.

Referring to Armenian and Azerbaijani Armed Forces British experts note: “Armenian Armed Forces are mostly concentrated on the defense of own territories because of the conflict with Azerbaijan. Thought Armenian military doctrine has mostly Russian influence but various programs which are held abroad assist them to get experience also by the allies”.

The experts consider that Azerbaijani Army must overcome the Soviet system. “Despite of the fact Azerbaijani Army ahs ties with Turkish Army, there are still many problems there”.

Report also referred to the conflict with Iran. “The EU embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil is among the most significant sanctions. It has prompted threats from Tehran to close the Strait of Hormuz. Iran could attempt this by mining the Strait, using anti-ship missiles or using torpedoes or rockets perhaps launched from Iran’s fleet of submarines or fast attack craft. While these capabilities could disrupt shipping temporarily, the US and its allies maintain significant maritime assets in the region and would soon be able to reopen the Strait. But other options are open to Iran: it could try to avoid giving cause for response by adopting more bureaucratic modalities, such as increasing transit times by imposing demands on vessels using the waters it controls as part of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Gulf.

In the conclusion the experts note that The 2012 Military Balance contains a wealth of analysis of regional and global defense developments and trends, as well as rich detail on military capabilities across the world. It tracks the continuing progress of Russia’s defense reforms; the retrenchment and cautious policy development seen last year in Brazil; the emerging security crisis in Mexico and Central America; and defense developments in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

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