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sratfordownloadProtests involving labour, student and indigenous groups have convulsed Ecuador, putting its government in danger of toppling — and enabling the possible return to power of its former president or another tightly aligned populist figure. Together, it threatens investors and businesses with rapid policy swings or even the nationalisation of assets. The current unrest erupted after President Lenin Moreno cut hefty fuel subsidies in an effort to meet International Monetary Fund lending standards to sustain the flow of vital support.

Yevhen-MahdaEverything may become an instrument of hybrid warfare. And electoral processes are no exception. It is well-known that Russia interfered in the Ukrainian election in 2004 which finally led to the Orange revolution. The Russian strategy in Ukraine in 2004 failed and back-fired. But it did not stop the further search for methods of election meddling. It took more than 10 years to create a more sophisticated strategy and tactics, as the article on the next page reviews.

INTRODUCTION AND RECOMMENDATIONS


Munoz2unnamedSmuggling activities along the borderlands of the North African (NA) countries - Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia - have been tolerated by central governments because they have been a way of costless development. But now they have become a menace given as contraband has expanded from arms to people trafficing and the extension of jihadism. To fight these threats requires more cooperation than competition.


This might start with the rejuvenation of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), an organisation created in 1989 by Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania to increase cooperation through greater interregional trade as a way to future economic and may be political integration. The AMU has never been abolished and had been working until the confrontation between Algeria and Morocco.


The European Union could help to integrate border management systems, or at least to coordinate them, because border security depends not only on national capabilities but also on international cooperation. Solutions to border management depends mainly on an North Africa operating environment taking into account the dynamic of the region trading networks that have created deep connections between border communities in neighbouring states. But a note of caution : limiting long standing smuggling of traditional commodities smuggling (fuel, food and tobacco ....) in the Maghreb could lead to an increase in radicalisation of people living in the border areas.


With the help of the World Bank and the European Union, the first steps in a comprehensive long term strategy could be:
a. Connecting the south to the north of the Maghreb countries through road infrastructure
b. Supporting regional cooperation
c. Helping the regions close to the existing borders to develop.
d. Providing coastguards of the regions' states with training and equipment.

See the next page for a country by country update. This paper is based on one written for the Eurodefense Mediterranean Observatory by Ambassador Garcia Munoz, President of Eurodefense-Spain, and submitted to the Bucharest Conference in October 2019. His previous papers published on Defence Viewpoints are "Developments in the MENA area" 16 September 2017 and the "Mahgreb Revisited" mini series 20 November 2017 - 24 November 2017

memorial2 nWe mark the passing of those who have served this country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome

Luke Rawlingsimage1 12To update previous timelines from the U K Defence Forum, two fact sheets were prepared in September, 2019 by Luke Rawlings. This one covers the period 2017-18. The same overview is presented because of this.

Overview 2014-18:

Throughout 2014, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1 held constructive and extensive talks regarding their intentions to create a nuclear deal with Iran. In exchange for this agreement, Iran would receive the lifting of crippling sanctions enforced on the state for many years.

The JCPOA agreement – agreed in 2015 – was thereupon upheld by Iran from the signatory date, and was thereafter continually monitored and verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Following Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States, the ever-present tensions between the U.S. and Iran sparked once more. Iran's pursuit of a ballistic missile program and accusations from the U.S. that the state is supporting terrorist organisations were amongst the many reasons for strain between the two nations.

On the 8th of May, 2018, President Trump announced America's withdrawal from the JCPOA, bringing the stability of the nuclear deal into question.

Since the withdrawal of the United States, sanctions by America have been re-imposed upon the Islamic Republic of Iran, despite all other nations remaining committed to the nuclear deal.

Consequently, Iran have since rejected to abide by particular sections of the JCPOA agreement, notably the stockpiling of enriched uranium.

The JCPOA deal has now reached a crossroads, whereby Iran has demanded that all members of the deal uphold to their commitments to the deal. In turn, Iran will reimpose the restrictions against their nuclear program, as outlined in the deal.

The detailed timeline can be found on the next page

Luke Rawlingsimage1 12To update previous timelines from the U K Defence Forum, two fact sheets were prepared in September, 2019 by Luke Rawlings. This one covers the period May 2015-16. The same overview is presented for both papers because of this.

Overview:
For the timeline 1967- 2010 see U K Defence Forum paper FS62 (updated) by various authors http://www.ukdf.org.uk/assets/downloads/FS62Iran%E2%80%99snuclearplans-progressreportNo6February2011.pdf

For 2011- May 2014 see U K Defence Forum paper FS71 by Elayne Jude, Senior Research Associate which covers both missiles and nuclear materials http://www.ukdf.org.uk/assets/downloads/IranFS7.pdf

Throughout 2014, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1 held constructive and extensive talks about their intentions to create a nuclear deal with Iran. In exchange for this agreement, Iran would "rewarded" by the lifting of crippling sanctions enforced on the state for many years.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – agreed in 2015 – was upheld by Iran from the signatory date, and was thereafter continually monitored and verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Following Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States, the ever-present tensions between the U.S. and Iran reignited once more. Iran's pursuit of a ballistic missile programme, and accusations from the U.S. that the state is supporting terrorist organisations, were amongst the many reasons for strain between the two nations.

On the 8th May, 2018, President Trump announced America's withdrawal from the JCPOA, bringing the stability of the nuclear deal into question.

Since the withdrawal of the United States, sanctions by America have been re-imposed upon the Islamic Republic of Iran, despite all other nations remaining committed to the nuclear deal.

Consequently, Iran says it won't abide by particular sections of the JCPOA agreement, notably the stockpiling of enriched uranium.

The JCPOA deal was at a crossroads at the time of writing, whereby Iran has demanded that all members of the deal uphold to their commitments to it. In turn, Iran will comply with the restrictions to their nuclear programme, as outlined in the deal.
Key events since our previous paper are on the next page

TomSpencerIMG 1145This year in British politics has been dominated exclusively by the spectre of the Northern Irish Backstop and the dilemma of two juxtapositions. As much as there is nothing more pressing than the 'here and now', and the not-so-distant-future, history is ever pertinent and will forever raise its ugly head, writes Tom Spencer.


In April this year, the notion of history's reach was brutally illustrated by the murder of the aspiring Northern Irish journalist Lyra Mckee in Derry. Given a failure to anticipate the influence of legacy in our country's future, this article seeks to illustrate how past events have far reaching ramifications – as seen in the Northern Irish Troubles.

The crisis in Kashmir is probably one of the most significant international political events in recent years. It has parallels with the unrest in Hong Kong. It is in essence about one nation two systems with the exception that the majority population in Kashmir was only subjected to this condition on a temporary basis, having been promised a plebiscite to determine their own future – a promise that has not been fulfilled in 70 years. The crisis is receiving relatively little news and political attention, writes Professor Afzal Ashrad. This indicates a selective approach by the UK and other Western countries to championing democracy and human rights. Unlike Hong Kong, where the international community is calling for restraint in dealing with protesters, there is a complete clampdown on democratic freedoms and restriction of basic human rights including free-speech in Kashmir. The region has been described as one big prison camp, yet there is little in the way of an outcry from the international community.

USA00000IMG 00000 BURST20190107130637518 COVERA spokeswoman for the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, quoted in The Guardian on May 27, 2016, asserted: "There is absolutely no plan to set up an EU army with the global strategy.": A denial qualified by the words "with the global strategy."

In that same news article, "Is there a secret plan to create an EU army?", The Guardian also cited Nick Witney, writing the "former chief executive of the European Defence Agency, said no one took the idea of an EU army seriously."

Joe Fallon explores the idea further on the next page.

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