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Highlights Of OEWatch For November 2017

November 20, 2017

After a week’s delay, the November issue of OEWatch arrives with an intense focus on the recent ZAPAD exercises in Belarus. This month’s cover spells out ZAPAD: Views From The Neighborhood, which is a theme borrowed from last month’s North Korean selections. OEWatch is available as a free download from the APAN Community Network.

Editorial duties are still shared between Tom Wilhelm, Karen Kaya, and Lucas Winter with a familiar pool of contributors filling up the sections. November’s OEWatch is shorter this time, running just 66 pages.

The focus on ZAPAD commands the largest page count and displaces the familiar Middle East, North Africa section at the beginning of the magazine. It’s interesting how four pages in the ZAPAD section are spent scrutinizing another military exercise that coincided with the Russian military’s activities in Belarus. According to OEWatch, Kazakhstan’s “Karatau 2017” had an anti-terrorism format but still managed to irk the Russians, who didn’t participate.

Responses to ZAPAD by Poland, Turkey, and China are assessed on pages 4, 10, 11. There seems to be a new effort to launch low orbit 14F156 Razdan spy satellites to help the Russian military’s operations abroad–this is on page 17. More updates on Russian technology are found on pages 18, 20, 21, and 24.

The Middle East, North Africa section is remarkably mixed this November. A single entry on page 29 is devoted to events in Syria while blocks of text cover recent arms deals and Iran’s long shadow over the region. An interesting development in Iran, discussed on page 32, is how Syrian civil war veterans are encouraged to return home and teach university classes on asymmetrical warfare.

The Africa section isn’t too controversial, with its balance of terrorism and domestic turmoil. But a short article on page 39 discusses the outbreak of “Lassa Fever” in rural Nigeria that could reach epidemic proportions if left unchecked.

For some reason the Latin America coverage includes updates on the recent furor over Catalonian secession. The rest of the entries are rather dull but the exception is an update on 45 about the dark web’s growing appeal among criminal syndicates.

The Asia-Pacific section offers several glimpses on China’s regional activities (pages 50 to 55) along with detailed analysis of local terrorism in Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. 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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