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Highlights Of OEWatch For March 2018

March 14, 2018

OEWatch this March brings one of its lesser known sections to the forefront. On the cover is a stock image of African soldiers in a dusty savannah behind the striking bold headline Stability in Africa. OEWatch is available as a free download from the APAN Community Network.

The latest OEWatch runs 78 pages and contains six sections. The longest sections are Asia-Pacific and, not surprisingly, Russia, Ukraine. This issue marks the arrival of Matthew Stein as an editor, replacing the researcher Karen Kaya. Tom Wilhelm is still the editor-in-chief while the magazine’s layout is done by Lucas Winter.

The Africa section launches with a lengthy overview of Turkey’s ambitious foreign policy across the continent on page 3. These includes military agreements and bases and a treaty for control over a small island on the Sudanese coast. The rest of the entries are preoccupied with terrorism and its humanitarian cost.

The Middle East section isn’t as interesting as it used to be. Two entries are focused on Turkey’s foreign policy in Central Asia and North Africa while the rest, pages 17 to 19, are about Iranian matters. The Latin America section is far from remarkable, obsessed as it is with political stability (or the lack thereof in Venezuela) and regional crime. An interesting entry about Chinese wind turbines in Cuba is found on page 30.

Coverage of Chinese activities predominates in two sections, the Asia-Pacific and Central Asia. There’s an interesting analysis of China’s economic projects in Pakistan on pages 46 and 47 and the risks these face for both states.

As expected, the greatest page count falls under the Russia, Ukraine section. An extremely detailed assessment of General Vasiliy Gerasimov, Russia’s highest ranking soldier, is found on pages 52 until 54. A juicy nugget from the excerpted text is the claim of 48,000 Russians having deployed in Syria’s civil war. On page 55 is a critical analysis of the Forpost UAV, whose features are still being tweaked after its performance in the Middle East proved satisfactory. It’s followed by a short article on Russian UAV pilot training on page 57.

Another epic entry is about Russia’s deployment of large amphibious landing ships. The upcoming Ivan Gren, which is capable of transporting 300 marines, is scrutinized from pages 61 until 63. There’s an interesting update on Russian mercenary companies on page 67 and the situation in Ukraine gets a little attention on page 70. According to the Ukrainian “military expert” it cites, Russia can expect a brief window to launch another conventional attack in the summer while the Javelin missiles sent by the US have little value outside their symbolism.

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

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