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Highlights Of OEWatch For July 2017

July 14, 2017

This issue of OEWatch features a Russian combat robot on its cover to accompany the headline Russian Advances In Military Technology. July’s OEWatch runs 53 pages and is divided between six sections, with Russia, Ukraine being the longest. It’s available as a free download from the APAN Community Network.

Editorial duties are shared between Tom Wilhelm, Karen Kaya, and Lucas Winter.

The latest OEWatch begins with the Middle East, North Africa section that’s firmly divided between the ongoing blockade on Qatar and Iran’s regional activities. There’s a interesting entry on page 9 about Russian energy giant Rosneft inking a deal with the Kurdish government of Northern Iraq to help it start exporting oil. Entries on page 10 and 11 are connected with the Syrian civil war. On page 12 is a discussion of local domestic politics in Tunisia.

The Africa section is more of an overview guiding the reader across the continent’s active war zones. On page 16 is a worrying assessment of the D.R. Congo’s near future. Its incumbent head of state refuses to step down and this is fueling unrest among the citizenry and renewed violence between the armed fores and rebel armies. Pages 17 to 19 take stock of recent events in Somalia.

The Latin America section is still a catalog of nefarious cross-border activities. But two brief excerpts on page 20 suggest that Moscow is rekindling its ties with Havana to spread its influence over the rest of Latin America. Beneath it is a short paragraph-length exposé claiming the Castros of Cuba are the one’s propping up the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

This issue’s Asia-Pacific section is robust for a change. On page 28 is a detailed analysis of a Japanese marine brigade that may or may not be based in Okinawa. Pages 29 to 32 deal with fresh breakthroughs in the Chinese military’s IT modernization. There’s a lengthy excerpt from an essay about the game of Go and its relevance to “strategic thought” on page 31.

On page 33 is an update about China’s own response to events in North Korea and how its security forces are dealing with a troublesome neighbor. Page 34 offers a brief on an ISIS-linked terrorist attack in Jakarta.

The Central Asia, Caucasus section is worth reading for its separate takes on the longstanding rivalry between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The latter country’s budding alliance with Turkey and Georgia is examined at length on page 36. There’s a very interesting perspective on growing “strategic” ties between Armenia and India on page 37.

The Russia, Ukraine section is not surprisingly extensive. The focus on new technology is strong and encompasses pages 38 to 41, including an assessment of Russia’s long-range over-the-horizon radar installations. On page 42 is a superb, if limited, guide to the battlefield robots being tested by the army. Pages 48 and 49 have separate entries about the newly-formed National Guard and their role in ensuring domestic order. There’s a nice tidbit on Moscow’s creeping militarization of the Arctic on page 52.

OEWatch often runs several dozen stories in a single issue. Readers should download copies to find what’s most relevant to their curiosity.

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