Articles and analysis

USA00000IMG 00000 BURST20190107130637518 COVER"As Napoleon said, to know a nation's geography is to know its foreign policy."

To understand Russia's foreign policy, its drive for strategic depth, first understand Russia's geography of exposure, writes Joseph E Fallon. Russia is an open plain stretching 6,000 miles from St. Petersburg on the Baltic to Vladivostok on the Pacific. Most of its population, agriculture, industries, and transportation networks are located in its west in a triangle bounded by the Baltic, Black, and Caspian Seas. This is Russia's heartland. Except for the Caucasus Mountains in its southwest, Russia lacks formidable mountains or deserts to defend its western and eastern borders or protect its core. There are no Alps like Italy, no Gobi like China.


Robin confJL703589 10151321812591122 745318061 oArkitka is the first of a new class of Russian nuclear icebreakers. She's designed to smash through Arctic ice up to 3 metres thick or more. But her long-delayed maiden voyage followed on a series of failed trials – and was marred by an inability to find thick enough ice to demonstrate her full potential, and equipment failures.
Instead of sailing the Northern Sea Route in splendour, last November she was back in her home port of Murmansk for more repairs. Like much in modern Russia, she has over-promised, under-delivered, and finding out what really happened is obscured by an anxious State, writes Robin Ashby.


USA00000IMG 00000 BURST20190107130637518 COVER"Parallax", according to the Cambridge Dictionary, refers to "the effect by which the position of an object seems to change when it is looked at from different positions." It is the "fact of seeing wrongly."

In counter terrorism, the nature of an insurgency, the position of an object, is understood differently by the military, politicians, and government contractors. The object seems to change as each looks at the insurgency from different positions. The military through war, politicians through aid, and contractors through profits. This leads to fraud, waste and corruption, making it difficult, if not impossible, to defeat an insurgency, writes Joseph E Fallon.


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