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Highlights Of OEWatch For August 2020

August 31, 2020

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. OEWatch’s August issue runs 92 pages divided among five sections spanning Eurasia, the Indo-Pacific, MENA, Africa, and Latin America. Editorial duties are shared among Tom Wilhelm, Karen Kaya, and designer Thomas Tolare with input by a large pool of contributing writers.

As always, the Eurasia section’s scope makes for a rewarding perusal. The entry on page 3 updates the reader on further experiments with fully autonomous armored fighting vehicles for the Russian army. Another cool entry is on page 7 where advances in Russian rocket artillery are highlighted and on page 8 is a very nice feature on the Kamov Ka-29 helicopter and its supposed role in Arctic operations. The commentary by Sergey Sukhankin on pages 14-15 for serious observers of Russia’s economy and the role its energy resources have in it. In his essay, Sukhankin tries to make sense of the government’s “Energy Strategy 2035” and how feasible its goals are.

The entries for the Indo-Pacific section offer a wealth of insight about China’s ever-growing military power. The best of them are packed between pages 33 and 39. A real standout is on page 37 that updates the reader on the BeiDou geomapping and navigation satellite network. Then on page 38 is an excellent guide to the PLA’s newest self-propelled artillery with a nice graphic to boot. The entry on page 42 is another gem as it tackles the brewing showdown between the West and China over who will control 5G tech.

The Middle East, North Africa section deserves serious browsing and starts off with a page length on page 51 about Turkey’s short-term geopolitical forecast in the post-COVID-19 era. The author picks apart the report from the foreign ministry’s own think tank about the important trends that will manifest in the first half of this decade. The rest of the entries are clustered around Iran and Turkey’s activities in the region.

The Africa section has two notable entries. The one on page 74 takes stock of Russia’s efforts at exporting civilian nuclear technology to Africa, which can raise its profile on the continent. The recent troubles of Mozambique with its local Islamic State insurgency are summarized on page 77.

The Latin America section is focused on domestic problems of South American states. Readers should download their own copies and find content that’s most relevant to their curiosity and interest.

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