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Highlights Of OEWatch For September 2018

September 14, 2018

Each month the US Army’s think tank the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) publishes its open source OEWatch magazine as a free download on the APAN Community Network. The September 2018 issue runs 71 pages and subscribes to the format of previous outings. On the cover is a stock image of an Iraqi commando and the bold text COUNTER TERRORISM. The editorial trio of Tom Wilhelm, Matthew Stein, and Lucas Winter are still in charge with help from contributors.

This month’s OEWatch starts with the Eurasia section devoted to all topics connected with Russia’s military. On pages 3 to 5 is a detailed entry on the Russian Army’s adoption of its old mobile artillery platforms like the Tyulpan mortar and the massive 2S7 Pion. Russia’s plans to deploy its mothballed Wing-In-Ground (WIG) naval transports are discussed on pages 14 and 15. A very brief excerpt on Bulgaria’s response to massive Chinese investment across Eastern Europe is found on page 27.

The Indo-Pacific section is full of China-centric entries. The risked posed by Chinese Uyghurs who had gone abroad to fight in terrorist groups is the subject of abundant commentary on page 29. A helpful analysis of the Ganbala Radar Station in Tibet–considered the highest military installation on Earth–is on page 31. Found on page 38 is a summary of Thailand’s efforts to acquire submarines that may or may not involve China. The rest of the section’s entries are about terrorism threats in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan.

The MENA section is quite broad this month. Both Iran and Turkey have multiple entries. There’s a nice overview of a looming squabble over natural gas pipelines in Turkey on page 47. The gist of it is Turkey wants a Trans-Anatolian pipeline for Central Asian gas exporters to reach Europe, but Moscow and Tehran may have other ideas. On pages 50 and 51 are updates on Turkey’s military technology. It’s now finishing a huge arms deal with Pakistan and new munitions are being tested for the air force’s F-35A’s. On page 56 is further proof of Iran’s shadowy role in the Yemen conflict–the Houthis used a “Qassef-1” drone to attack a Saudi base.

The Africa section is crowded with entries on the terrorism spreading in the Sahel. But a worrisome scoop on page 64 shares details about a potential Ebola outbreak in the volatile Kivu province. The Latin-America section is slim and offers a mere handful of entries on Colombian domestic politics…and the drug trade. For example, an alarming entry on page 70 all but screams that Colombian cocaine production just reached an “all-time high.” 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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