Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 48

This week our Top-5 starts looking at the battle of Tikrit. According to The New York Times, “the hard lessons of the Tikrit offensive, with a heavy cost in casualties for the Shiite militiamen and soldiers involved, have Iraqi officials thinking more cautiously about their next steps”. In the article you’ll find also interesting maps of the ongoing battle.

The debate on the controversial F-35 is still lively. On the one hand, we have positive news regarding the Pentagon’s estimated procurement cost, while on the other hand the technical problems of the JSF are not vanished.

After the terrorist attack in Tunisia, a growing attention has been devoted to North Africa. The Monkey Cage provides an interesting perspective on an underrated case: Morocco.

Uk defense under reconsideration? As stated by the BBC: “The Commons Def Committee says Britain’s security strategy urgently needs updating, to ensure several different threats can be tackled at once”. We will look at the electoral debates to assess the effective role played by defense issues in the UK…

Finally, the account by Duck of Minerva of the most recent ISA Conference in New Orleans (Game of Thrones as a main issue..)


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Mapping European Security: The EUISS Yearbook 2014

Some weeks ago the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) has published the second edition of the Yearbook of European Security (YES). The EUISS, which was set up in January 2002 as an autonomous agency under the CSFP (Common Foreign and Security Policy), is the Union’s agency dealing with the analysis of foreign, security and defence policy issues.

The “EUISS Yearbook of European Security 2014” provides a “comprehensive survey of the EU ‘toolbox’ as well as a “targeted analysis of European defense spending”.

Here you’ll find the link to the document.

Just at the beginning of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU, it is worth reading a detailed analysis of the current state of the play concerning security and defense in Europe.

In addition, the authors (Antonio Missiroli, Florence Gaub, Olivier de France and Daniel Fiott) assess “the changes and developments that have occurred in three ‘signature’ countries of the so-called Arab Spring”: Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.

Here below a selected passage from the foreword:

2013 was a remarkable year for the Union’s foreign, security and defence policy. The latter, in particular, concentrated the minds and mobilised the energies of all EU institutional actors in the run-up to the European Council meeting of December focused on ‘defence matters’ (the Documents section of this volume includes the full reproduction of relevant texts). Furthermore, the issue of cybersecurity gained in saliency and even urgency due to both internal policy developments and external political challenges. For its part, EU diplomacy proved its worth by facilitating both a landmark agreement between Belgrade and Pristina (in the spring) and a preliminary deal between the so-called ‘3+3’ and Tehran on Iran’s nuclear programme (in the autumn). Meanwhile, the Union’s neighbourhoods have remained a major source of concern, with growing instability in both the South – including our neighbours’ neighbours, from Mali to Sudan – and the East, where signs of turmoil started to become apparent well before the end of the year. 2014 will mark the conclusion of the post-Lisbon phase of European integration, characterised by the gradual implementation of the new treaty provisions and the establishment of a new institutional ‘system’ for the EU’s foreign and security policy – both carried out at a time of deep economic crisis inside the Union and rapid political change outside”.

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