EU’s New Maritime Strategy is a Failure

by Felix F. Seidler. Felix is a fellow at the Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel, Germany and runs the site Seidlers Sicherheitspolitik“. This article was published there at first.

Since June 24, the EU has a new Maritime Security Strategy (EMSS). However, due to the haggling for posts in Brussels, there has not been much fanfare about it. In January, this blog has outlined what should have been in EU’s new Maritime Security Strategy. Hence, we should have a look how far the EMSS meets the strategic needs. To set the record straight: EMSS is a failure – and here is why.

FGS Hessen (Top), USNS Pecos (Middle) and FS Siroco (Bottom).

FGS Hessen (Top), USNS Pecos (Middle) and FS Siroco (Bottom).

Where is America?
The US Navy will remain the world’s most powerful navy for the decades to come. Its vessels dominate all oceans. Any maritime security policies will not work without taking Washington’s positions into account. Hence, any country’s or organization’s maritime strategy must at least address one’s relationship to the United States. However, EMSS does not address the US at any time (sic!).

EMSS repeats general knowledge by saying that the “EU depends on open, protected and secure seas and oceans” (“European Union Maritime Security Strategy“, Council of the European Union, 24.07.2014, p. 1). Due to the massive decline of Europe’s navies, this job is largely done by the United States. Moreover, EMSS defines maritime security “as a state of affairs of the global maritime domain, in which international law and national law are enforced, freedom of navigation is guaranteed and citizens, infrastructure, transport, the environment and maritime resources are protected” (p. 3). In the maritime choke points (e.g. Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Malacca) most of these tasks are done by the US Navy and in the North Atlantic area also by NATO’s Standing Maritime Groups.

In consequence, a maritime strategy worth the term would have outlined what maritime relationship EU seeks with the United States. However, the EMSS does not clarify in any way how the triangle between EU, NATO and the US should work.

EU is now officially a regional power
Relevant theaters for the EU are the Arctic, the Mediterranean, the Indo-Pacific and meanwhile the Gulf of Guinea. In the EMSS, the EU says its strategy “covers the global maritime domain” (p. 4), while priorities are the North, Baltic and Black Seas, the Mediterranean, the Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean (p. 4). The Indian Ocean was only briefly addressed concerning the Horn of Africa and the Pacific Ocean was not addressed at all. EU has missed the two most relevant oceans, not to mention that the Indo-Pacific as a geopolitical concept was also overlooked. Hence it is clear that in reality EMSS does not cover the global maritime domain.

Moreover, it is very questionable how relevant the theaters of EMSS priority really are. Of course, the Mediterranean and Arctic are go great concern. Due the Ukraine Crisis, the Black Sea has gained increased relevance. Instead, the Atlantic Ocean, the North and Baltic Sea are not areas of major security concerns. The only relevant issues going on there are Russian warship transits and air force flights. However, France could change this situation with the delivery of the Mistrals, because we may find these LHDs one day in front of Norway’s or the Baltic State’s coasts for unfriendly visits.

It is clear that while Europe is talking about interests and ambitions in the global maritime domain, it has effectively made itself a regional power. On the one hand, this does not reflect current strategic trends in the maritime domain, but on the other hand, the regional power approach is a realistic assumption.

The Landing Helicopter Dock Dixmude (L9015) in Jounieh bay, Lebanon (mMrch 2012). It is the third French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship.

The Landing Helicopter Dock Dixmude (L9015) in Jounieh bay, Lebanon (mMrch 2012). It is the third French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship.

Maritime good governance is fantasy
Frequently, the EMSS is using the term of “rules-based good governance at sea”, which the EU aims to promote in the international order. Perhaps, somebody from Brussels should have talked to our friends from Vietnam or the Philippines. What is emerging in the Indo-Pacific is the Chinese way of maritime governance, which means that by a salami-slicing tactic more and more of Asia’s water turn under Beijing’s control.

Much closer to Europe, Russia’s multiple show-of-force operations in the Eastern Mediterranean make clear, too, that Moscow will also not promote “rule-based good governance at sea”. In fact, in an international system, which becomes much more anarchic due to increased armament, nobody except Brussels is talking about good governance. The EMSS completely ignores that fact that maritime great power competition is growing and that new non-European expeditionary navies are emerging, which are likely to affect areas of concern for Europe.

Instead, Europe extensively debates security challenges, which are well known (p. 7f.). After more than 20 years of speeches, political documents and research, everybody is aware that organized crime, piracy, terrorism, proliferation and environmental issues are security challenges. Agreeing on this is not worth a new maritime strategy.

An aircraft elevator on the Chinese aircraft carrier "Liaoning". The carrier has two elevators, which lift the aircraft between the flight deck and the aircraft hangar (Source: "Liaoning (Varyag) Aircraft Carrier", SinoDefence, December 2013).

An aircraft elevator on the Chinese aircraft carrier “Liaoning”. The carrier has two elevators, which lift the aircraft between the flight deck and the aircraft hangar (Source: “Liaoning (Varyag) Aircraft Carrier“, SinoDefence, December 2013).

Brussels’ wishful thinking
While we see an emerging maritime great power competition across the global, the EU has managed to agree on a maritime strategy, which completely ignores the role of the US Navies and the rise of other navies, in particular China and India. While talking about “illegal archaeological research” as a threat (p. 8), EMSS pays no attention to shifting maritime balance of power, although Europe’s most pressing strategic-maritime challenge is how it will adapt to these shifts.

By canting phrases like “good governance”, the EU does only one thing: It sends a message all across the world that Brussels lives in a world of wishful thinking. China, India, Russia, Brazil and even America have no interest at all in playing by the rules that EU adores to put in place. While Brussels enjoys its self-percepted moral superiority, the world has moved on.

BRICS’ New Development Bank has no maritime relevance. However, it sends one relevant signal. The BRICS, who all are working on expeditionary navies, have no interested anymore in playing by Western rules, but rather try to overcome them in the long-term future. This applies on EU’s rule-based good governance, too.

EU will not become a serious player in maritime security
My argument in January was that it is most that EU says what it does and does what it says. Good governance in maritime security is promise Brussels cannot keep. Therefore, globally the EU will not become a serious maritime player. There is no talk in the EMSS about maritime crisis management or expeditionary missions. Instead, most of the issues addressed are trivial, self-evident and already well known. Hence, the EMSS is a failure.

Finally, there is also some good news. The stated ambitions of a regional power focusing on well-known security challenges is something that EU can actually do – but not more.

Posted in English, Felix F. Seidler, International, Sea Powers, Security Policy | Leave a comment

Sea Control 46 & 47: Indonesia Primer & British vs. American Surface Warfare Officers

Last week, I was job-related occupied and had no time to review the newest episodes of Sea Control. Thus, I will review in this article the latest two.

On 9 July 2014, the 3rd Indonesian presidential election was held. Voters had to decide between Prabowo Subianto, a former Lieutenant General in the Indonesian National Armed Forces and the governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, who finally won the election. The incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term in office. The election of Widodo is a positive development 15 years after the first free elected president.

Indonesia is not only the largest state in South-East Asia, but also a stable, Muslim majority democracy. Nevertheless, according to Dr. Peter McCawley from the Australian College of Asia and the Pacific, Indonesia has still a long way to go. The biggest challenge for Indonesia is mass poverty – 11,7% of the population is below poverty line (CIA World Fact Book, 2012) and about 50% of the people have less than 2 US-Dollar a day. One place behind Palestine on rank 108, Indonesia has only a medium Human Development Index (HDI; UNDP, “Human Development Report 2014“, 24.07.2014, p. 161). Furthermore the infrastructure is underdeveloped – not only roads and ports, but also for example the water supply system.

The question remains if, with a newly elected president, Indonesia could do more in international affairs. Faced with domestic challenges, it would be a mistake for the international community to expect too much regarding Indonesia’s role in the regional security and stability. To answer that and other questions, Natalie Sambhi talks with Dr. Peter McCawley and Dr. Ross Tapsell, also from the Australian College of Asia and the Pacific, in episode 46 of Sea Control.

Listen to episode #46 immediately

 

• • •

According to Wikipedia, modern naval warfare is divided into four operational areas: surface warfare, air warfare, submarine warfare and information warfare. Each area comprises specialized platforms and strategies used to exploit tactical advantages unique and inherent to that area. Surface warfare officers interdict other, adversarial ships to pass through a location (interdiction) and have dominance of force over a given area that prevents other naval forces from operating successfully (sea control). In episode 47, Matthew Hipple discusses with Lt. Jon Paris, an US Navy Surface Warfare Officer, the differences between the Royal Navy and US Navy processes of creating officers for their surface fleet, the nature of being a maritime “professional” and possible improvements for the US model. The discussion is based on Paris’ article “The Virtue of Being a Generalist, Part 1: A Day in the Life of Sub Lieutenant Snodgrass“.

More information

Listen to episode #47 immediately

 
Latest: Episode #47 – Archive: all episodes – Don’t miss any future episodes and subscribe on iTunes.

• • •

CIMSECThe Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank. It was formed in 2012 to bring together forward-thinkers from a variety of fields to examine the capabilities, threats, hotspots, and opportunities for security in the maritime domain. Check out the NextWar blog to join the discussion. CIMSEC encourages a diversity of views and is currently accepting membership applications here.

Posted in English, Indonesia, International, Sea Control, Sea Powers, Security Policy | Leave a comment

Personal Theories of Power: The Defense Industrial Base

by Mikhail Grinberg. He is an aerospace and defense strategy consultant in Washington DC. This article is part of the Personal Theories of Power series, a joint Bridge-CIMSEC project which asked a group of national security professionals to provide their theory of power and its application. We hope this launches a long and insightful debate that may one day shape policy.

Defense industrial base [hereafter "industrial base" or "defense industry"] issues are almost always discussed in a contextual vacuum — as if their history begins with World War II factories or with President Eisenhower’s 1961 warning of a growing military-industrial complex. But manufacturing materiel is as ancient as war itself. This essay attempts to first set a historical narrative for the defense industry and then to propose a theory of its power.

The Battle of Pavia, fought by Charles V against the Kingdom of France on the morning of 24 February 1525.

The Battle of Pavia, fought by Charles V against the Kingdom of France on the morning of 24 February 1525.

Marching through history
In 1528, Charles V of Spain hired a Genoese firm to supply and operate a fleet of galleys to help control the Italian coast. Due to their increased size and sophistication, the price of galleys grew. By 1570, this led his son Philip II to experiment with having court administrators operate seventy percent of Spain’s fleet. They failed to recruit experienced oarsmen or to provision equipment efficiently. The price of operating galleys doubled without any vessel improvements before the policy was reversed to private enterprise (David Parrott, “The Business of War: Military Enterprise and Military Revolution in Early Modern Europe“, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

In 1603, Charles’s grandson, Philip III paid 6.3 million ducats to Gonzalo Vaz Countinho, a private merchant, for 40 ships and 6,392 men. This eight year contract supplied Spain with its entire Atlantic fleet. Twenty-five years later, Philip IV contracted a Liège company to build cast-iron cannon and shot. By 1640, 1,171 canons and 250,000 shot were built. Until the end of the eighteenth century Spain was self-sufficient in iron guns (Parrot, “The Business of War”).

Contracting was not limited to the House of Habsburg. Governments have always relied on industry to provide materiel. It is not surprising then that in Michael Howard’s classic “War in European History” private enterprise plays a prominent role. Knights, mercenaries, merchants, and technologists shaped the history of Europe and thus its wars (Michael Howard, “War in European History“, New York: Oxford University Press, 1976).

An industry is born
For centuries supply caravans traveled with armies and small, decentralized, enterprises such as blacksmiths were ubiquitous. To profit, merchants repurposed equipment on commercial markets. Other proprietors assumed financial loss for military titles or, when victorious, profited from the spoils of war (Geoffrey Parker, “The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800“, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press, 1996).

The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) changed the scale of conflict and the materiel required to conduct it. At last there were “large-scale profits to be made” from the “business of war” (Parrot, “The Business of War”). In Genoa, Hamburg, and Amsterdam centers comprised of weapons manufacturers emerged alongside merchants that specialized in capital, financing, and market access. A multinational arms industry was born that “cut across not just national, but confessional, and indeed military boundaries” (Howard, “War in European History”).

Berlin based Splitgerber & Daum was one firm born from this system. Formed in 1712, its two proprietors began as commissioned agents. They raised capital to supply munitions first to local arsenals in Saxony and eventually the Prussian army itself. Their growth can be attributed to an early observation: that success in their business “could be achieved only within the framework of a strictly organized mercantilist economy” (W.O. Henderson, “Studies in the Economic Policy of Frederick the Great“, Oxon: Routledge, 1963.). Patriotism became a marketing tool.

By 1722, Splitgerber & Daum was manufacturing “gun barrels, swords, daggers, and bayonets” at Spandau and assembling guns at Potsdam (Henderson, “Studies in the Economic Policy”). By mid-century it was a conglomerate. Frederick the Great, unlike his grandfather the “mercenary king“, was not an admirer of contractors. But after the Seven Years’ War ended in 1763 he guaranteed the company a “regular flow of government orders” as long as it remained loyal to Prussian interests (Christopher Clark, “Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947“, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006). He understood that in order to “raise Prussia to the status of great power required the services of merchants, manufacturers, and bankers” (Henderson, “Studies in the Economic Policy”).

Thirty Years' War: The victory of Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631).

Thirty Years’ War: The victory of Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631).

 
Pouvoirs régaliens
Twenty-six years later, the French Revolution would change Europe. Until then, states were the property of absolute sovereigns; after they became “instruments of powerful forces dedicated to such abstract concepts as Liberty, Nationality, or Revolution” (Howard, “War in European History”). As the nature of the State changed, so did its wars. French armies were now comprised of conscripts. In 1794, France attempted a planned economy. It reasoned that if people could be conscripted so could resources. The experiment failed due to inefficiency; manufacturing reverted back to private enterprise before the year’s end.

Industry would flourish during the Napoleonic Wars. From 1783 to 1815 two thirds of Britain’s naval tonnage was produced by private shipyards. And the Royal Navy began to experiment with managing industry. It sacrificed deals with large lower-cost providers to bolster small contractors that it considered to be more flexible. In the nineteenth century, the birth of nations launched state industries: private, but British shipyards; private, but German steelmakers.

Krupp would embody this development. Founded in 1811 in Essen (by then Prussia), it would first develop steel. By 1851 it became the primary provider of Prussian arms and, after German unification, the country’s preeminent defense firm. By 1902, Krupp managed the shipyards in Kiel, produced Nassau-class dreadnought armor, and employed 40,000 people (Harold James, “Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm“, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012).

Defense Industrial Base Power
Defense industries evolved from distributed providers, to unaligned enterprises, and finally to state-managed industries. They became consortiums of private or government-owned entities that translate the natural, economic, and human capital resources of a state into materiel (Merton J. Peck and Frederic Scherer M, “The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis“, Boston: Harvard University, 1962).

Workers on the assembly line at the Chrysler tank arsenal in Detroit during World War II (click on the photo for more images).

Workers on the assembly line at the Chrysler tank arsenal in Detroit during World War II (click on the photo for more images).

World War II stretched this logic to its absolute; all state resources were translated into the machinery of war. In 1940 the US only built 2,900 bombers and fighters; by 1944 it built 74,000 on the back of industry. From 1941 until the war’s end 2,711 Liberty ships were built; welded together from 250,000 parts, which were manufactured all over the country. And from 1942 to 1946, 49,324 Sherman tanks were built by 11 separate companies such as Ford and American Locomotive — built by the “arsenal of democracy” (Jacques S. Gansler, “Democracy’s Arsenal: Creating a Twenty-First-Century Defense Industry“, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2011).

After the war, all countries began to balance national security objectives with resources via defense industrial base policies. A country’s industrial base capability could be measured as a combination of its scope (how many different cross-domain technologies it could develop), scale (at what quantity), and quality (battlefield performance).

The path to independence
National resources limit capability. Less capable countries are more dependent on allies than more capable ones (see Figure 1). As countries develop an industrial base their level of dependence decreases, but never goes away. This can be best understood through industry itself. Prime contractors rely on their supply chains. But a widget supplier is more dependent on its customer, than its customer is on it.

Figure 1 - Interdependence in the International System: Reflects a manufacturing view of the defense industrial base. Information technology capabilities (i.e., data PED or cyber) have made industrial base capabilities more accessible to smaller countries with less national resources. How this impacts the curve or a nation’s independence is worth further exploration.

Figure 1 – Interdependence in the International System: Reflects a manufacturing view of the defense industrial base. Information technology capabilities (i.e., data PED or cyber) have made industrial base capabilities more accessible to smaller countries with less national resources. How this impacts the curve or a nation’s independence is worth further exploration.

Industry developed a science for managing the inherent risk of dependence — supply chain management. However, corporate practices do not translate to international politics. “Country A” may find new allies; “Country B” may seek to act on its own. And all countries shift along the curve depending on their level of investment.

For example, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have invested into defense since the first Gulf War. They are now capable of “manufacturing and modernizing military vehicles, communication systems, aerial drones, and more”. Through offset agreements and foreign partnerships they have acquired “advanced defense industrial knowledge and technology” and are expected to rely on their “own manpower and arms production capabilities to address national security needs” by 2030 (Bilal Y. Saab, “Arms and Influence in the Gulf: Riyadh and Abu Dhabi Get to Work“, Foreign Affairs, 05.05.2014).

To borrow from Henry John Temple, Britain’s Prime Minister from 1859 to 1865, in the international system, states have temporary friends, but permanent interests (Erik Gartzke and Alex Weisiger, “Permanent Friends? Dynamic Difference and the Democratic Peace“, International Studies Quarterly, 2012, 1-15). Over time, it is thus in the interest of each country to increase its independence by investing into defense capabilities (see Figure 2).

Without such investment, “Country Z” capabilities erode. “Country Y” may attempt to sustain its capabilities, but as other countries develop new technologies, sustainment also leads to capability erosion. Only countries that invest into industrial bases over time are able to achieve political objectives independently.

Figure 2 - Ability to Achieve Political Objectives Over Time.

Figure 2 – Ability to Achieve Political Objectives Over Time.

 
One more supper
The United States has never shown, over a sustained period of time, “a coherent long-term strategy for maintaining a healthy domestic defense industry” (Todd Harrison and Barry Watts D, “Sustaining Critical Sectors of the U.S. Defense Industrial Base“, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2011). American defense budgets are cyclical; they have contracted after every war. Every time, the Pentagon intervened with reactionary strategies to manage industry. And each time, as one former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense noted, the Pentagon got it wrong (Tyrone C. Marshall Jr., “Pentagon Revamps Approach to Industrial Base, Official Says“, American Forces Press Service, 20.02.2013).

This was most evident in 1993 when the Pentagon held a dinner, known as the “Last Supper”, with top defense executives. It told them that after the Cold War, America no longer needed nor could it afford the same volume of materiel. But it left it up to industry to decide its overcapacity problem. Industry began to consolidate, based on rational business sense, but not a national strategy.

The 1990s were focused on consolidation, commercialization, and dual-use technology. Today, as budgets are again tightened, new strategies such as increased competition and international expansion have emerged. This may help save some companies, but how will it impact our ability to act independently over time?

In 2003, after decades of following a similar industrial base approach, the UK realized that it no longer had the design expertise to complete development of its Astute-class nuclear submarine (Harrison, “Sustaining Critical Sectors”). And in 2010 the UK’s Strategic Defence and Security Review, by listing the capabilities it will have, spelled out what it can no longer accomplish independently. Although the UK received American support for its submarine, what would happen if it did not?

As the US argues over budgets or program cuts, a theory of defense industrial base power could help set priorities. Commercial diversification or international expansion are tactics by which defense firms gain new revenues to save themselves in a downturn. We need a national defense industrial base strategy to maintain our capability for independent action.

• • •

CIMSECThe Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank. It was formed in 2012 to bring together forward-thinkers from a variety of fields to examine the capabilities, threats, hotspots, and opportunities for security in the maritime domain. Check out the NextWar blog to join the discussion. CIMSEC encourages a diversity of views and is currently accepting membership applications here.

The Bridge is a blog dedicated to strategy and military affairs. It was formed in 2013 to bring together forward-thinking junior to mid-grade officers and practitioners from a variety of fields to analyze and write about current and future national security challenges.

 

Posted in Armed Forces, English, Mikhail Grinberg, Security Policy | Leave a comment

The Islamic World’s Westphalian Moment

by Major Chad M. Pillai. Major Chad M. Pillai is an Army Strategist in the U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC). He recently served as a Special Assistant to the Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the 38th Army Chief of Staff. Major Chad Pillai received his Masters in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in 2009. He recently published the “Return of Great Power Politics” at War on the Rocks.

The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the independence of the Dutch Republic. The image shows the Ratification of the Peace of Münster (Gerardter Borch, Münster, 1648; Source: Wikipedia).

The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the independence of the Dutch Republic. The image shows the Ratification of the Peace of Münster (Gerardter Borch, Münster, 1648; Source: Wikipedia).

Since the start of the “Arab Spring” in December 2010, there was hope real transformation would occur and the region would democratize for the betterment of the people, region, and the world. However, the promise of the “Arab Spring” has devolved into numerous conflicts with regional and global implications. The ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and now Gaza, where the ideals of self-determination, ethnic and cultural identities, and demands for greater economic and political freedoms will redraw the map of the region akin to Europe transitioning from its medieval feudal system to the rise of the Westphalian nation-state system. With the rise of ISIS in Syria-Iraq and Iran’s meddling in the region, the question for the United States is whether to become directly involved or allow the wild fire to burn out naturally by containing any potential spill-over.

Islam’s impressive early rise and expansion ushered in an era of scientific, cultural, artistic, and medical advancements. Islamic scholars preserved much of our knowledge of the ancient Greco-Roman world while Europe descended into the “Dark Ages” where the majority of academic literacy was reserved for the clergy. At its peak, the Islamic world stretched from Spain to modern-day India and its only real equal on the world stage were the Chinese. The Islamic world fostered an early age of globalization by serving as the global trading middlemen between Europe and the spice/silk trade from China and India. As the book “Mullahs, Merchants, and Militants” by Stephen Glain states, “a thousand years ago, the Arab Empire pioneered new technologies, sciences, art, and culture. Arab traders and Arab currencies dominated the global economy in ways Western Multinationals and the dollar due today. A thousand years later, Arab states are in decay.” The rise of the European nation-states and the “Age of Sail” initially led by Portugal and Spain, allowed Europe to bypass the overland trade routes from the West to the East which eventually led to the Islamic world’s economic and political decline. As the Islamic world declined, radicalism took root.

Expansion of the Islamic Caliphate (Source: Wikipedia).

Expansion of the Islamic Caliphate (Source: Wikipedia).

The Islamic world fractured as competition for the spirit of the Islamic World split among regional dynasties to include the Ottoman Empire, the Persians, and the Mughals of India. As the Islamic World fractured and the Chinese isolated themselves, Europe grew stronger as it began to colonize the “New World” and continued seeking new markets in Asia. By the end of World War I, the Islamic World had been conquered with the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire. The aftermath was the creation of artificial states whose boundaries overlapped tribal, ethnic, and linguist identities. After World War II, the decolonization of the region led to totalitarian regimes led by either monarchs or strongmen who gained loyalty through the barrel of the gun or bribes from oil profits. The rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt gave rise to the belief in a return of a unifying “Arab Identity”; however, as my late SAIS professor, Fouad Ajami, so eloquently taught, this optimism gave way to pessimism as the realization of the true characters of such national figures as Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, the al-Assad family, and the Saudi Dynasties revealed themselves. Strongmen and dynasties who have squandered the greatest natural resource on earth – oil – without adequate investment in their people to join the 21st Century global economy.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq served as an earthquake to the region as the centuries old Sunni rule was upended and replaced by a Shiite dominated government. Additionally, it gave rise to self-determination as groups like the Kurds demanded greater autonomy and recognition. The two benefactors of the earthquake were the Iranians (Persians) and the radical Sunni Islamist. Within the Sunni world, a civil war has emerged by what Fouad Ajami describes as “the fault line [...] between secularist, who want to keep faith at bay, and Islamist, who have stepped forth in recent decades to assert the hegemony of the sacred over the political.” (Fouad Ajami, “The Struggle in the Fertile Crescent“, Hoover Digest, Summer 2014, No. 3). Mixed with the millennium conflict between the Shiites and Sunnis, the Islamic world is now experiencing its “Thirty Years’ War” waged between Protestants and Catholics for mastery of Europe which led to the Westphalian system.

Kurdish peshmerga troops  on the front line in Khazer. U.S. warplanes bombed Islamist fighters marching on Iraq's Kurdish capital after President Barack Obama said Washington must act to prevent "genocide".

Kurdish peshmerga troops on the front line in Khazer. U.S. warplanes bombed Islamist fighters marching on Iraq’s Kurdish capital after President Barack Obama said Washington must act to prevent “genocide”.

Unfortunately for the people of the region, the Islamic World needs to undergo this violent transformation. This fire needs to burn itself out until a single victor emerges or a recognition that an Islamic Westphalian peace needs to be attained. For the United States and the West, it provides an opportunity to contain the fire by not directly intervening between the warring parties unless genocidal violence is about to occur, or if one of the warring factions becomes a direct threat. Despite the rise of ISIS and its desire for the reestablishment of a Caliphate, which is as unlikely as the Vatican reestablishing the Holy Roman Empire, it will be opposed by Iran and its proxies in Syria and Lebanon. Likewise, Iran finds itself surrounded by hostile Sunni Islamists in Syria-Iraq on its western front and eastern front if the Taliban returns to power in Afghanistan. Groups such as ISIS and Hezbollah, while independent minded, act as proxies between the Sunni world led by Saudi Arabia and Shiites led by Iran. At the same time, Turkey is attempting to reestablish its former Ottoman influence in the region as a counterweight to Iran while the Kurds attempt to break free from both camps as they attempt to forge their own independent national identity. The most likely result will be the recognition such as Thirty-Years War between Sunni Islamist and Iranians will weaken them until there is recognition for a lasting peace. A peace established that rejuvenates the Islamic World with new national borders drawn as new nations-states form around their unique tribal and ethnic identities. The current crisis in the Middle East is their means to settle their millennium old debate between Sunnis and Shiites, and undo the artificiality of their borders created by European conquerors. For the U.S., the best bet is to lead the efforts to contain and the peace that follows.

More information
Stephen M. Walt, “Do No (More) Harm“, Foreign Policy, 07.08.2014.

Posted in Chad M. Pillai, English, History, Security Policy, Terrorism | 1 Comment

America Has Itself to Blame for Europe’s Weakness

Last Monday, offiziere.ch published an article about Europe’s weakness. In his article, Sid Lukkassen focused his remarks on a socialisation of men in Europe which was influenced by feminism. The article thus provided some impetus for a critical discussion (see the manifold comments and my own response to the article).

This second article by Nick Ottens gives you another, different perspective on the issue. He argues that the European countries are not solely responsible for Europe’s military weakness; but that the United States deliberately wanted to keep Europe weak and divided after the Second World War.

Nick Ottens is the editor of the transatlantic news and commentary website Atlantic Sentinel and a contributing analyst for the geostrategic consultancy Wikistrat.

Dean Acheson

Former secretary of state Dean Acheson meets with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House in Washington DC, July 8, 1965 (LBJ Library)

As America struggles to cope with a revisionist Russia and unrest in the Middle East, distracting it from its desired “pivot” to East Asia, calls on Europe to rearm and “take responsibility” for the deteriorating security situation in its neighborhood can be heard louder and louder.

Such calls not only overestimate Europe’s political ability to muster a common defense and security policy; it overlooks America’s own efforts to keep Europe weak and divided. When taking this historical context into account, complaints of a feckless Europe seem somewhat ironic at best.

The United States never wanted the Europeans to get their act together on defense, Justin Logan, a foreign policy expert at America’s libertarian Cato Institute, pointed out in a Foreign Policy essay in June. “From NATO’s founding,” he wrote, “American policymakers were concerned both with preventing Soviet domination of Europe and with preventing the emergence of a ‘third force’ of Western European power divorced from Washington.”

This second objective of American postwar strategy in Europe appears to have been largely forgotten. American policymakers were quite explicit about their intentions. President Harry Truman’s secretary of state, Dean Acheson, told his diplomatic staff in Paris in 1952 that NATO should be prioritized in order to preclude the possibility of a European Union “becoming [a] third force or opposing force.” (see also: Christopher Layne, “Supremacy Is America’s Weakness“, Financial Times, 13.08.2003). National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy wrote to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 that it would be better for the United States if Britain spend its resources on conventional arms and “join with the rest of NATO in accepting a single US-dominated [nuclear] force.” The Americans were apprehensive about Charles de Gaulle’s attempts to position France — and, by extension, Western Europe — as a third pole in international relations, between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Even after the Cold War, in 1998, Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, told NATO allies a common European security policy could only come about if it meant “no diminution of NATO, no discrimination and no duplication.” (“Transcript: Albright Press Conference at NATO HDQS December 8“, 09.12.1998).

Nixon De Gaulle

President Richard Nixon of the United States and Charles de Gaulle of France meet, March 2, 1969 (Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum)

As recently as 2003, President George W. Bush’s ambassador to NATO, R. Nicholas Burns, condemned European security cooperation as “one of the greatest dangers to the transatlantic relationship.”

Yet now Americans are upset Europe never got around to mounting a common defense?
A more reasonable American complaint involves Europe’s underspending on defense. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton warned last year that “NATO is turning into a two tiered alliance with shrinking percentage of members willing, and able, to pay the price and bear the burdens of common defense.”

Looking at the numbers, Clinton’s worry seems justified. Only six European NATO members spend 2 percent of their economic output or more on defense: Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom. And Britain and France are presently making reductions, leaving the former — America’s closest transatlantic ally — short of fighter planes to put on its new aircraft carrier.

America’s share of total NATO spending has only risen since the end of the Cold War, from roughly 50 percent before the Soviet Union collapsed to more than 75 percent today. But that has more to do with increases in American defense spending that European cuts. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the military’s budget grew from $291 billion to an $880 billion high in 2010, including financing of the war effort in Afghanistan.

Should the Europeans have kept up?
International terrorism is certainly a threat to European countries as well, evidenced by the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the suicide attacks in London the following year. But Europe was, and remains, far less convinced that the best defense is to occupy Middle Eastern states that produce terrorists. Let alone that there is a role for NATO in this.

David Cameron Barack Obama

British prime minister David Cameron, American president Barack Obama and European Commission president José Manuel Barroso observe a moment of silence in honor of NATO military personnel that have lost their lives, Lisbon, Portugal, November 19, 2010 (White House/Pete Souza)

Which is perhaps the main issue. Too often, America has seen and used its European allies as a means to give its own foreign policy an air of multilateralism — which put an unreasonable burden on them.

New NATO member states in Central and Eastern Europe have been more willing to share the burden. They needed something in return: American protection. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in March proved they were right to be concerned about future Russian aggression and it was a reminder of what NATO is for. As General Hastings Ismay, the alliance’s first secretary general, famously put it: “to keep the Russians out” and “the Americans in.”

Certainly, Europe could do more. But as American politicians learn to live with an increasingly isolationist electorate of their own, perhaps they can sympathize with their counterparts in Western Europe whose voters have long seemed — not altogether unreasonably — under the impression they face no security threats whatsoever? Due in no small part to American efforts to keep the region both free and divided, it has had no war in almost seventy years. Little wonder so many Western Europeans don’t see the point in keeping huge standing armies.

Posted in English, History, Nick Ottens, Security Policy | 1 Comment

The Geopolitical Crisis

by Sid Lukkassen. Lukkassen holds an MA in history and philosophy, is a Ph.D candidate and city councillor in the Netherlands (VVD). Autumn 2014, he publishes his book Avondland en Identiteit (Occident and Identity). This article was originally published in Dutch on De Dagelijkse Standaard, 28.07.2014.

Austro-Hungarian troops executing captured Serbians, 1917. Serbia lost about 850,000 people during World War I, a quarter of its pre-war population.

Austro-Hungarian troops executing captured Serbians, 1917. Serbia lost about 850,000 people during World War I, a quarter of its pre-war population.

• • •

Si vis pacem, para bellum
Geopolitics has fully returned. August 2014 – exactly one hundred years after the breakout of the First World War – the world is burning once again.

• • •

West-European democracies aim primarily at the expansion of personal wealth and at living convenient, relaxed lives. Exactly because we are so comfortable – even those who visit the food banks are rich compared to many inhabitants of Earth – the vastness of the abyss that the European peoples are marching towards hardly gets through to us. Europe discovers itself in a violent world – a world, it cannot understand or analyse. Half a century of feminised thinking is at the root of this.

Across the world the seeds of conflict are growing, as states seek to expand their power and influence. In the East stands Vladimir Putin. His endgame is to make Russia again into the superpower that it was during the era of the Soviet Union [1]. In the South looms Turkey, where Recep Tayyip Erdoğan considers having himself appointed as the new president. Turkey is a nation of many conflicts; with of Kurds, Armenians and Cypriots, to name but a few. Under the guidance of Atatürk and his legacy the culture of state has been secular for some decades. Now Turkey slowly slides towards Islamism [2]. The conflicts fuel a call for authority, for a strong hand that can maintain order and expand power. Further towards the Middle East are ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and comparable Islamic (paramilitary) organisations. I could also address the recent clashes between pro-Palestine demonstrators and the police that have taken place in major European cities (for example: Sam Schechner, “Pro-Palestinian Protesters Clash With Paris Police Following Ban on Rally“, The Wall Street Journal, 17.07.2014). About China, which forms a new industrial power and where a structural shortage of women exists, I have not yet uttered a word.

The central problem is that we can no longer comprehend the mindset of our enemies and their motives. Palestinians and Israelis fight one another because of a territorial conflict underlain by ethnic and religious dividing lines. Postmodern Europeans cannot remotely fathom what this means. We have resided in the naive supposition – a mirage thrown up by the success of democracies after World War Two – that mankind was growing ever closer to unity and brotherhood. This happy conviction of the generation ’68 was strengthened by the writings of Loe de Jong, a Dutch historian who took on the role of judge over history: minorities were sacred by definition, authoritarian regimes were tainted per se.

The RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner. In 1915 she was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, causing the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew. It influenced the decision by the US to declare war in 1917. In other words, in a very tense international military situation, the tragic destruction of one passenger vehicle can have far-reaching political consequences.

The RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner. In 1915 she was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, causing the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew. It influenced the decision by the US to declare war in 1917. In other words, in a very tense international military situation, the tragic destruction of one passenger vehicle can have far-reaching political consequences.

But the fall of Srebrenica – where the politically-correct governing elite was proven outmatched by the brutality of the East-European warriors – brought fractures in this image (cf.: Laura Smith-Spark, “Dutch state found liable in deaths of more than 300 men in Srebrenica massacre“, CNN, 16.07.2014). Recently, Syria followed, where the Islamist rebels, possibly, represent a greater evil than the secular dictator Bashar al-Assad. The West hesitated, unable to decide who embodied good here and who evil; Putin made use of that confusion to outmanoeuvre the United States.[3] Now a passenger airplane has been brought down above Ukraine and the bitch that is reality smacks us in the face. The RMS Lusitania of the twenty-first century?

Four years ago, I attended a working conference of European Liberals. It was a debate about the formation of a European army. Once all participants had had their say, a German took the floor. He caught the whole of it in crystal clear language: “We like to see ourselves as the keepers of order and peacebringers of the world. But what we speak of here is building weapons, while the European population ages. This means in practice that we must go tell people that we can no longer take their parents into retirement homes because there is no money for it. Why? Because we spent that money bombing banana republics. People will never agree to purchase weapons if there is simultaneously a growing demand for care.” That brought the discussion to an abrupt end.

Europe is weak. Europe stands divided. Europe is economically a superpower, the biggest player on Earth. Still there is no capability to translate this power into geopolitical results. “Liberty Hall, live and let live, human beings are inherently good – let us prioritize free trade and economic integration, then world peace will follow by itself”, thus the motto of the sixty-eighters. “Feminised Europe”, I call this. West-European men are raised by a generation of women. Women who found violence, but nasty and vile. Any decent feminist would not allow her sons to play soldier outside: that would only lead to masculine stereotypes and macho behaviour. Soon, the last handful of machos the Netherlands has, will stand unarmed in Ukraine.[4] Russia can bomb Rotterdam – annihilate it on a whim. Just to show the magnitudes.

World peace is not around the corner! About 100 years after World War I, in a different region, in a different context, the same cruelty still exits. Photo: ISIS fighters executing prisoners in Iraq, 2014.

World peace is not around the corner! About 100 years after World War I, in a different region, in a different context, the same cruelty still exits. Photo: ISIS fighters executing prisoners in Iraq, 2014.

“Why weapons and armies? Nurseries and care homes we need!” – a statement that captures feminised Europe in a nutshell. With as its end result a fertility rate of the German woman of 1,3 (2,1 is required to maintain an equal population; see Camilia Bruil, Patrick van Schie and Mark van de Velde, “The Dynamics of Demographic Decline“, The Hague 2011, 73). For Europeans, soldiers are increasingly scarce and thus costly and precious [5].

At this moment I feel little trust in the future of our democracy. Last week, I had a conversation with a political scouting committee. “You have all the facts and know them very well,” I was told, “but when you get engaged in discussions of this kind, it becomes too technical. The average viewer cannot understand this. You must summarize your goal and your result in a single fat headline, or the voter will skip to the next channel. Journalists will walk away and make a story of their own. Politics is no longer about contemplating fundamentals. You must accept this or go do something else.” Because I refuse to bow down to this, I aim this treatise directly at you. I think that the circumstances necessitate a broader discussion about the geopolitical long term strategy of the Western civilization [6]. The way the balance of powers is currently shifting, the West-European and East-European peoples may very well have dire need of each other in the future.

Let us hope that all of this dies down quietly and that we can avert a larger conflict between East and West. We will then be able to concentrate on the greater challenge: the geopolitical decay of the European peoples and the rise of new powers.

• • •

Footnotes
[1] “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.” — Vladimir Putin in his Annual Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, April 25, 2005.
[2] Here I refer to a larger gradual process, symptoms of which include: trials against military personnel, the return of Islamic symbols within Turkey’s culture of state, imprisoning of secular lawyers, inciting speeches by Erdogan about integration to Turks living abroad, the sentence against Fazıl Say for his tweets about Islam.
[3] Initially, many in the U.S. wished to intervene in the Syrian civil war on behalf of the rebels. Russia, however, suggested the destruction of any chemical weapons owned by the regime of Assad. The U.S. accepted and a larger intervention in the conflict by the U.S. was thus prevented. For more information, see: Karen DeYoung, “How the United States, Russia arrived at deal on Syria’s chemical weapons“, The Washington Post, 16.09.2013.
[4] “Initially, the Netherlands and Australia had contemplated sending an armed mission to secure the wreckage of the Malaysian airliner and retrieve human remains that have not yet been recovered. But Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called off the idea of an armed mission after a ceasefire negotiated with the rebels around the crash site fell through.” — Spencer Kimball, “International mission to secure MH17 site fraught with risks“, The Transatlantic Observer, 28.07.2014.
[5] “Gut möglich, dass in zehn Jahren – Staatsschulden und demografischer Wandel grüßen – wieder vom kranken Mann Europas die Rede ist. Deutschland wird aber bis 2050 mehr als 1/4 seiner Bevölkerung verlieren.” — Felix Seidler, “Hegemon auf Zeit: Deutschland braucht eine Geostrategie“, Seidler’s Sicherheitspolitik, 14.06.2013.
[6] “Folglich wird Deutschland eine Kultur geostrategischen Denkens entwickeln müssen, will es langfristig Erfolg haben und Europa erfolgreich machen. Wir brauchen einen nationalen geostrategischen Konsens. Das heißt: Welche Räume sind uns wichtig? Zu welchem Grad? Welche Mittel wollen wir wo und wie einsetzen? Von den politischen Parteien darf man dabei leider nichts erwarten; vllt. mit Ausnahme von kleinen Teilen der Union. Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik bleibt ein Karrierekiller. Strategisches Denken lernt man in der Parteipolitik nur im Hinblick auf Karriereplanung, nicht in internationalen Fragen.” — Felix Seidler, “Hegemon auf Zeit: Deutschland braucht eine Geostrategie“, Seidler’s Sicherheitspolitik, 14.06.2013.

 

Posted in English, History, Politics in General, Security Policy, Sid Lukkassen | 27 Comments

Energy Security: 10+1 Principles

by Patrick Truffer. Patrick Truffer graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs and completes a Master of Arts program in International Relations at the Freien Universität Berlin.

In Switzerland, economic policy is counted as one of eight security-political instruments (see also “Sicherheitspolitische Veränderungen und Konsequenzen für die Schweizer Armee – Teil 1“, offiziere.ch, 07.10.2010). Because of the increasing demand, the scarcity and the power-political significance of energy resources, Energy Security increasingly matters in the security-political area. Based on the writings by Daniel Yergin, this short essay will explain the basic principles of Energy Security and their implementation in the EU.

The European natural gas network: 186,132 km, 2,649 nodes (compressor and city gate stations, LNG terminals, etc.), 3,673 Pipeline segments. The existing network is shown in blue; planned pipelines in red. Population density is represented in dark green; larger urban areas are coloured light blue (source: R. Carvalho, L. Buzna, F. Bono, M. Masera, D.K. Arrowsmith and D. Helbing, "Resilience of natural gas networks during conflicts, crises and disruptions", presented by R. Carvalho at the Open University, April 4, 2014).

The European natural gas network: 186,132 km, 2,649 nodes (compressor and city gate stations, LNG terminals, etc.), 3,673 Pipeline segments. The existing network is shown in blue; planned pipelines in red. Population density is represented in dark green; larger urban areas are coloured light blue (source: R. Carvalho, L. Buzna, F. Bono, M. Masera, D.K. Arrowsmith
and D. Helbing, “Resilience of natural gas networks during conflicts, crises and disruptions“, presented by R. Carvalho at the Open University, April 4, 2014).

The International Energy Agency (IEA) defines “Energy Security” as “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price”, leaving open what “affordable price” actually means. In contrast, Yergin argues for a broad definition of Energy Security. For example, Energy Security depends on the standpoint of the observer: residential, commercial and industrial consumers are interested in a stable price for a secured supply, while producers are interested in a steady demand and a secure income etc.. On that basis, Yergin elaborates the different aspects of developing a concept for energy security.

In the scope of developing the concept, Yergin recommends ten basic principles for decision-makers. He focuses on the situation of the US, but his remarks could be analogously implemented to the conditions within the EU. In contrast to the US, the EU never had the illusion that their energy market could be independent from the global market. On the contrary, in the liberalized and globalized market, the EU sees advantages and is trying to promote these using the Energy Charter Treaty and the Third Energy Package.

The diversification of sources, supply routes and infrastructure is one of the main guarantors and the starting point of a concept for energy security. The efforts of the EU to change their energy mix in favour of renewable energy sources highlight the importance of diversification of all energy sources (Stacy Closson and Daniel Möckli, “Energy Security of the European Union,” CSS Analysis in Security Policy 3, no. 36 (June 2008)). The presence of a potentially independent, robust, inland energy industry as well as investment in research and development would be advantageous. However, disruptions in supply and service cannot be completely excluded. Strategic reserves, the provision of high quality information and a contingency to bridge disruptions are therefore necessary. A liberal energy market ensures that supply and demand remain in balance. This does, however, entail price increases, which could counter the definition of energy security. An ideal energy market would also require a well-developed distribution and transportation network so that energy can be traded worldwide. Ultimately, increased demand can only be covered if funding and production capacity can also be increased. In an ideal situation, an interdependence of consumers and suppliers would be created so that both will be interested in the secure flow of energy. However, the current tensions between the EU and Russia indicate that this does not represent a long-term guarantee. The cooperative relations among importing states is therefore more important, something which is supported by the IEA, for example.

The 10 principles of Energy Security by Daniel Yegin

  1. Diversification (most important principle).
  2. Liberalisation (“there is only one oil market”).
  3. The need of a security margin.
  4. A well functioning energy market.
  5. Building relationships with exporting nations.
  6. Cooperation among importing nations.
  7. The importance of high quality information.
  8. A robust domestic industry.
  9. Research and development.
  10. Planning for disruptions.

— based on Daniel Yergin, “Energy Security and Markets,” in Jan H. Kalicki and Goldwyn David L. Energy and security: strategies for a world in transition, (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2013, 2nd edition): 69–87.

The EU is dependent on the import of energy sources, with Russia being by far the largest supplier of crude oil (35%). Russia also plays a key role in the EU’s import of natural gas (30%) and solid fuels (26%; source: European Commission, “EU Energy in Figures, Statistical Pocketbook,” 2013, 24). Norway, the second most important supplier of natural gas (28%), would not be able to compensate for a loss of Russian natural gas (Tord Lien, “Norwegen dämpft Hoffnungen auf erhöhte Gaslieferungen nach Europa,” EurActiv.de, 31 March 2014). Nevertheless, energy security is a relatively new policy area for the EU. For example, strategic energy reserves were the responsibility of the individual member states or were regulated by other international or regional organisations. For example, NATO has specified that its member states ensure a bridging of three months for major energy resources and the IEA direct their Member States to maintain strategic crude oil reserves equal to 90 days’ import levels. Only since 2013 has the Council of the European Union required each member state to maintain crude oil reserves equal to 90 days’ import levels or 61 days’ consumption levels (the greater quantity applies). The European Commission addressed energy security extensively for the first time only in March 2006 as part of the “Energy Policy for Europe“, which focused on diversifying energy sources, liberalising the energy market, increasing the solidarity of the Member States in the supply security, increasing energy efficiency (an important area ignored by Yergin) and promoting research. The liberalisation of the energy market has been driven by the adoption of the third energy package, which calls for a separation of the production, transport, and distribution operations of the energy companies operating in the EU (David L. Goldwyn, “Refreshing European Energy Security Policy: How the U.S. Can Help“, Brookings Institution, 18 April 2014).

Natural gas pipelines, LNG terminals and storage caverns in Europe.

Natural gas pipelines, LNG terminals and storage caverns in Europe.

Further measures for increasing energy security could be realised in late 2009 with the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon, which further extended the powers of the EU in this area. For example, the European Commission’s European Energy Programme for Recovery supports the renewal and expansion of energy infrastructure within the EU (European Commission, “Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery“, COM (2010)191 final, 27 April 2010). It also includes improvements to the natural gas infrastructure to improve the flow of gas among the member states and construct LNG terminals for the import of gas from the US. The LNG terminals will begin operating between 2016 and 2020, which should enable the diversification of gas imports (David L. Goldwyn, “Refreshing European Energy Security Policy: How the U.S. Can Help“, Brookings Institution, 18 April 2014).

The implementation of measures to increase energy security in the EU is only just beginning. In 2010, the European Commission decided that the measures taken so far were inadequate and formulated a revised energy strategy for the period up to 2020. Increasing energy efficiency was given top priority followed by liberalising the energy market, developing infrastructure, increasing research efforts, promoting renewable energy and strengthening the energy aspects of foreign policy (European Commission, “Energy 2020: A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy“, COM(2010) 639 final, 10.11.2010).

Conclusion
The ten principles of Yergin include the key points for formulating a strategy to ensure energy security. These are recognisable in the strategies of the EU. The current implementation, however, is still in its infancy, not least because the EU first acquired the necessary authority with the Treaty of Lisbon. Diversification efforts are particularly challenging, as these require large investments in infrastructure and renewable energy. “Energy 2020″ will significantly enhance energy efficiency, an aspect not considered by Yergin, but which should be incorporated as an eleventh principle.

References
Daniel Yergin, “Energy Security and Markets,” in Jan H. Kalicki and Goldwyn David L. Energy and security: strategies for a world in transition, (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2013, 2nd edition): 69–87.

Posted in Energy Security, English, Patrick Truffer | Leave a comment

Amerikas Mann in Libyen

General_Haftar

General Khalifa Haftar. Quelle: Magharebia

von Peter Dörrie

General Khalifa Haftar führt ein ereignisreiches Leben. Geboren um 1943, war er an zwei Revolutionen in seinem Heimatland Libyen beteiligt. Er hat für und gegen den ehemaligen Machthaber Muammar al Gaddafi gekämpft und ist heute einer der einflussreichsten politischen und militärischen Akteure im libyschem Bürgerkrieg. Und vielleicht steht er auf der Gehaltsliste der CIA.

Haftar war 1969 Teil der Junta, die gegen den libyschen König Idris rebellierte und Gaddafi zur Macht verhalf. Dieser machte Haftar erst zum Generalstabschef und dann zum Kommandierenden der libyschen Einheiten im Tschad-Libyen-Konflikt, einer Reihe von Auseinandersetzungen zwischen den beiden Nachbarländern im Kontext des Kalten Krieges.

Dank U.S.-amerikanischer und französischer Unterstützung ging der Tschad aus dieser Auseinandersetzung siegreich hervor und Haftar gelangte zusammen mit hunderten libyschen Soldaten in Kriegsgefangenschaft. Gaddafi war so wütend, dass er es ablehnte, über eine Freilassung seiner Soldaten zu verhandeln. Vielleicht hatte er aber auch Angst vor einer Rückkehr Haftars als Kriegsheld.

Wechsel zur Opposition – und zur CIA
Zurückgelassen im Tschad wechselte Haftar zur Opposition im Exil und wurde Kommandeur des militärischen Arms der National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL). Die NFSL wiederum bekam massive Unterstützung durch die Reagan-Administration, die sich das erklärte Ziel gesetzt hatte, Gaddafi zu stürzen.

Haftar siedelte in den frühen 1990ern in die USA um und lebte bis 2011 im “ländlichen Virginia“. Es ist sicher kein Zufall, dass sich hier auch die Zentrale der CIA befindet. Laut einem Bekannten ging Haftar in den USA keiner offensichtlichen Tätigkeit nach, konnte aber trotzdem seine große Verwandtschaft finanziell unterstützen. 1996 versuchte die NFSL Gaddafi militärisch zu stürzen. Über die kurze und erfolglose Rebellion gibt es wenige öffentlich verfügbare Erkenntnisse, aber Haftar war an ihr wohl maßgeblich beteiligt.

Der nächste große Auftritt von General Haftar erfolgt 2011. Er kehrt aus dem Exil nach Libyen zurück, um sich an der Revolution gegen Gaddafi zu beteiligen. Schnell steigt er in den Rängen der Rebellen auf und wird nach dem Sturz Gaddafis zum Oberkommandierenden der libyschen Bodentruppen ernannt.

Rebellenkämpfer wärend der libyschen Revolution 2011. Quelle: Magharebia

Rebellenkämpfer wärend der libyschen Revolution 2011. Quelle: Magharebia

 
Ein ambitionierter Mann
Doch das ist scheinbar nicht genug für die Ambitionen des alternden Generals. Heute ist Haftar einer der entschiedensten Gegner des politischen Transformationsprozesses in Libyen. Er hat eine Allianz zwischen verschiedenen Milizen im Osten und Westen des Landes geknüpft. Eine dieser Milizen, die Zintan-Brigaden stürmten im Mai das libysche Parlament. Dieser Angriff auf die noch jungen demokratische Institutionen Libyens war Teil der groß angelegten “Operation Dignity“, die Haftar auch zur Entfachung von Kämpfen im ostlibyschen Benghazi nutzte.

Öffentlich präsentiert sich Haftar gerne als Kämpfer für ein säkulares Libyen und gegen islamistische Milizen und Terroristen. Tatsächlich hat er wohl erhebliche persönliche Ambitionen, die schlecht zum demokratischen Transformationsprozess des Landes passen. Ein zentrales Projekt der aktuellen Regierung ist ein Gesetz, dass ehemalige Funktionäre des Gaddafi-Regimes aus öffentlichen Ämtern verbannt. Haftar wäre von diesem Gesetz betroffen – ebenso wie viele Anführer der mit ihm verbündeten Milizen.

Haftars Widerstand gegen den demokratischen Prozess in Lybien ist mitverantwortlich für die aktuelle Eskalation der Kämpfe. Um so wichtiger wäre es, wenn die amerikanische Regierung jetzt ihre Beziehung zu Haftar umfassend aufdeckt.

Posted in Libya, Peter Dörrie | Leave a comment

MH17 und KAL007: Warum die Welt kein Déjà-vu erlebt

Von Danny Chahbouni. Danny studiert Geschichte und Politikwissenschaft an der Philipps-Universität Marburg.

Pro-russische Separatisten an der Absturzstelle von Flug MH17. Quelle: Reuters

Pro-russische Separatisten an der Absturzstelle von Flug MH17. Quelle: Reuters

Nach dem Abschuss von Flug Malaysian Airlines MH17 über den Kampfzonen der Ost-Ukraine wurden häufiger Parallelen zu einem anderen, irrtümlichen Flugzeugabschuss gezogen: Flug Korean Airlines 007 (KAL007), der vom Kurs abgekommen war und von der sowjetischen Luftverteidigung abgeschossen wurde. Bei genauerem Hinschauen erlebt die Welt allerdings kein Déjà-vu, denn Rahmenbedingungen und Art des Konflikts in der Ukraine sind gänzlich anders als die Welt des Jahres 1983.

Der Abschuss von KAL 007
Die Boeing 747 der Korean Airlines war am 31. August 1983 in New York gestartet und auf dem Weg nach Seoul. Nach einem Tankstopp in Anchorage sollte die Maschine ursprünglich die Luftstraße R-20 nehmen. Diese Route tangiert auch in einigen Kilometern Entfernung von Alaska die russische Halbinsel Kamtschatka (siehe Diagramm weiter unten). Durch einen Fehler des Autopiloten und eine Verkettung unglücklicher Zufälle wurde der Airliner mit einer amerikanischen RC-135 verwechselt, die einen sowjetischen ICBM-Test auskundschaften sollte, um den Sowjets eine Verletzung des SALT-II Vertrages nachzuweisen.

Über eine Stunde hatte die sowjetische Luftverteidigung KAL007 auf den Schirmen gehabt, bevor um 03:26 Ortszeit ein SU-15 Abfangjäger zwei Luft-Luft-Raketen auf das Flugzeug feuerte, welches sich zu diesem Zeitpunkt wieder im internationalen Luftraum aufhielt. Noch zwölf Minuten trudelte die Boeing in der Luft, bevor sie westlich von Sachalin zerschellte.

Cover des Time-Magazine nach dem Abschuss von KAL007. Quelle: Time

Cover des Time-Magazine nach dem Abschuss von KAL007. Quelle: Time

Korean Airline Massacre
Sowohl Flug MH17, als auch KAL007 wurde die Verwechslung mit militärischen Flugzeugen zum Verhängnis. Am 17. Juli diesen Jahres verloren 298 Menschen ihr Leben, 1983 waren es 269 Zivilpersonen. Hier enden die Parallelen allerdings auch bereits. KAL007 wurde nicht Opfer eines hybriden Krieges, wie er gegenwärtig in der Ukraine stattfindet, sondern der Großmachtrivalität des Kalten Krieges, der nach Jahren der Entspannung zu Beginn der 1980er Jahre einen neuen Höhepunkt erlebte. Sowohl die USA, als auch die Sowjetunion belauerten sich gegenseitig und die altersschwachen Herrscher im Kreml waren in fast panischer Angst vor einem Erstschlag der NATO. Bereits im Frühjahr 1983 führte die US-Pazifikflotte die Übung FleetEx83 durch, bei der mehrmals der sowjetische Luftraum durch F-14 Tomcats verletzt wurde. Die Verwechslung von KAL007 mit der RC-135, die Telemetriedaten des Raketentest in der Nähe aufklärte, muss als eine Panikreaktion gesehen werden, was auch die eifrigen Bemühungen erklärt, nach dem versehentlichen Abschuss, die Aussagen des Piloten der SU-15, zu verdrehen. Die Flugschreiber wurden erst im Jahr 1993 an Südkorea zurückgegeben.

Die internationalen Reaktionen waren im Gegensatz zur aktuellen Situation entsprechend schärfer. Vor allem die Worte, die aus dem Weißen Haus kamen. Präsident Reagan, der die Sowjetunion bereits wenige Monate vorher als “Evil Empire” bezeichnet hatte, sprach gar von einem “Akt der Barbarei”.

And make no mistake about it, this attack was not just against ourselves or the Republic of Korea. This was the Soviet Union against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere. It was an act of barbarism, born of a society which want only disregards individual rights and the value of human life and seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations. — Ronald Reagan, “President Reagan’s Address to the Nation on the Soviet Attack on a Korean Airliner (KAL 007)“, 05.09.1983

Nach dem Abschuss präsentierten die USA dem UN-Sicherheitsrat den abgefangenen Funkverkehr der sowjetischen Luftverteidigung. Eine Leugnung des Abschuss war deshalb für die Sowjets kaum mehr möglich, stattdessen blieb man bei der Aussage, KAL007 sei auf einer Spionagemission für die CIA gewesen. Als Strafmaßnahme verhängte Reagan am 15. September 1983 ein Flugverbot für die sowjetische Fluggesellschaft Aeroflot. Interessanterweise geht auch die Freigabe des Navigationssystem GPS für die zivile Nutzung auf den Abschuss von Flug KAL007 zurück.

Amerikanische M-113 rollen durch Herbstein im Vogelsberg im Rahmen des Manövers Autumn Forge 83. Quelle: Wikipedia

Amerikanische M-113 rollen durch Herbstein im Vogelsberg im Rahmen des Manövers Autumn Forge 83. Quelle: Wikipedia

1983: Eines der gefährlichsten Jahre
Der Abschuss von KAL007 unterscheidet sich – wie oben bereits erwähnt – vor allem durch die grundsätzlich unterschiedlichen sicherheitspolitischen Rahmenbedingungen. Darüber hinaus war die Katastrophe ein vorläufiger Höhepunkt eines Jahres, welches die Eiszeit zwischen Ost und West noch kälter werden ließ. Nach dem NATO-Doppelbeschluss und dem sowjetischen Einmarsch in Afghanistan waren sämtliche Bemühungen um Entspannung dahin. Nachdem im Jahr 1982 die Abrüstungsverhandlungen zur Beseitigung von Mittelstreckenraketen gescheitert waren, setzte die NATO den Doppelbeschluss in die Tat um und kündigte die Stationierung von nuklearen Mittelstreckenwaffen des Typ Pershing II und von Tomahawk Cruise Missiles für das Ende des Jahres 1983 an. Während Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt den Doppelbeschluss als notwendig betrachtete um mit den sowjetischen SS-20 Raketen gleich zu ziehen, gab es in den USA durchaus Stimmen, die die Mittelstreckenraketen als essentiell betrachteten, um einen nuklearen Schlagabtausch durch frühzeitige “Enthauptung” der Sowjetunion zu gewinnen. Verbunden mit Reagans schrillem Antikommunismus, schürte das die Panik im Kreml. Die sowjetischen Geheimdienste KGB und GRU starteten deshalb bereits im Jahr 1981 die Operation RJaN, die Indizien für einen bevorstehenden Erstschlag der NATO sammeln sollte. Im Jahr 1983 schienen sich die Hinweise zu verdichten.

Nach Reagans “Evil Empire”-Rede und der Ankündigung der strategischen Verteidiungsinitiative “SDI”, lagen die Nerven endgültig blank. Der Abschuss von KAL007 schien den perfekten Vorwand zu bieten, die Sowjetunion zu vernichten. Erhöhte Sicherheitsstufen durch den Terroranschlag auf die US-Marines in Beirut und verstärkte diplomatische Korrespondenz zwischen Washington und London, die allerdings auf die US-Operation in Grenada zurückzuführen war, lieferten weitere Indizien im Rahmen der Operation RJaN. Im Herbst 1983 führten die NATO-Truppen in Westdeutschland das Manöver Autumn Forge 83 durch. Während die Panzer zwischen Fulda und Bad Hersfeld die abgeernteten Felder in Schlammwüsten verwandelten, gab es in Serpuchow-15 in den frühen Morgenstunden des 26. September 1983 einen Fehlalarm. Bei der Einrichtung handelt es sich um eine Bodenstation für Frühwarnsatelliten, die plötzlich den Start amerikanischer Interkontinentalraketen meldeten. Die Fehlfunktion des Satelliten wurde durch den Diensthabenden Oberstleutnant rechtzeitig erkannt und kein weiterer Alarm ausgelöst.

Die Verkettung von dramatischen Ereignissen war allerdings noch nicht vorbei, denn die NATO-Manöver endeten in diesem Jahr mit der Stabsrahmenübung Able Archer 83, in der die Befehlskette zur Freigabe von Nuklearwaffen geübt wurde. Bei dieser, lange geplanten Übung, sollten erstmals auch echte Politiker teilnehmen, um die Verfahrenabläufe möglichst realitätsnah zu üben. Die sowjetische Führung um den schwerkranken Juri Andropow war zutiefst verunsichert, wirkte das Manöver in Anbetracht der vorherigen Ereignisse doch tatsächlich wie der Auftakt eines heißen Krieges. In der Folge wurden Truppen in der DDR und in Polen in Alarmbereitschaft versetzt. Ob dabei – wie in diversen populären Veröffentlichungen behauptet – tatsächlich Jagdbomber mit taktischen Nuklearwaffen bestückt, startbereit auf den Rollfeldern warteten, lässt sich nicht ohne weiteres belegen. Das die Ereingisse nicht eskaliert sind, lag vor allem daran, dass beide Seite hochkarätige Quellen führten, die rechtzeitig von der Operation RJaN berichteten. Reagan sagte seine Teilnahme an der Übung jedenfalls urplötzlich ab und zeigte sich öffentlich auf seiner Ranch. Übrigens waren die Pershing II zum Zeitpunkt des Manövers noch nicht in Dienst gestellt. Die ersten Raketen wurden erst Ende November 1983 nach Europa verlegt.

Diagramm der geplanten und tatsächlichen Flugroute der KAL007.

Diagramm der geplanten und tatsächlichen Flugroute der KAL007.

 
Fazit
Um die Ereignisse um Flug KAL007 wirklich aufzuklären, vergingen zehn Jahre und ohne den Zerfall der Sowjetunion würden die Flugschreiber vermutlich noch heute in russischen Panzerschränken liegen. Die Hintergründe, die zum Abschuss von Flug MH17 führten, sind wesentlich komplexer und undurchsichtiger. Ob man jemals zweifelsfrei belegen kann, wer genau für den Abschuss verantwortlich ist, erscheint fragwürdig. Eines haben die Abschüsse von KAL007 und MH17 jedoch gemein: Beide Katastrophen wirkten wie ein Katalysator für die ohnehin gespannte politische Lage. Trotz der rapiden Abkühlung der Ost-West-Beziehungen erlebt die Welt dennoch kein Déjà-vu der Eiszeit des Jahres 1983. Das zeigt sich auch am Verhalten der Bevölkerungen: 1983 protestierten hunderttausende gegen die Stationierung von Mittelstreckenraketen. Das die Einflussagenten des Ostens hierbei ihre Finger im Spiel hatten, gilt als sicher. 2014 sind die Trolle des Kreml anscheinend weniger erfolgreich: Neben einer ganzen Welle unqualifizierter Kommentare in Web 2.0 Angeboten, konnten sie bisher nur politische Esoteriker und ähnliche krude Gestalten für ihre “Montagsdemonstrationen” mobilisieren.

 
Verweise

 

Posted in Danny Chahbouni, History, Russia, Security Policy | 6 Comments

Rockets and Iron Dome, the Case of Lebanon

Light streaks and smoke trails are seen as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel, July 23, 2014 (Photo: Amir Cohen / Reuters).

Light streaks and smoke trails are seen as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel, July 23, 2014 (Photo: Amir Cohen / Reuters).

 
by Jassem Al Salami.

The 2014 Gaza conflict marks a new breaking point in Israel-Palestine balance of power. From 1982 when Palestinian militia started to fire rockets from southern Lebanon toward northern Israel up until today cheap rockets have been the balancing factor against the Israeli Air Force. But in the recent hostilities, as Iron Dome air defense system gets more and more credits for shutting down hostile rockets, this equation is starting to unravel.

According to the Isreal Defense Forces only 86 percent of civil-life threatening rockets have intercepted by Iron Dome, but on the other hand, less than 0.1 percent of Palestinian rockets have scored any casualties or substantial material damage during first three weeks of Operation “Protective Edge” (based on my own media tracking of the events). This number does not indicate a victory for the classic strategic weapon of Mughawama (resistance).

Some may argue that psychological and economic effects of Palestinian rockets have remained intact. They succeed to considerably reduce air traffic over Tel Aviv, partially affected by MH17 disaster in Ukraine, and induce terror in Israel citizens. But the fact is, Iron Dome has at least provided a psychological cover for Israeli population and individual rocket impacts in populated areas, mostly hitting deserted streets and parking lots, haven’t been able to crack that cover.

The Palestinian militia understood this changing factor and started to use alternate strategic weapons in the early days of the conflict. They sent suicidal combat teams to Israel through underground tunnels. When the first wave of attack teams was intercepted by Israeli soldiers, Hamas, particularly deployed primitive combat drones to retain the terror balance.

Drones didn’t work out so well, the majority of them were intercepted by Patriot batteries. But infiltration teams after a few foiled attempts succeed in intercepting a liaison vehicle and terrorizing coastal cities. The enemy in the north, Hezbollah, looks at these developments in distress. Hezbollah possesses a more sophisticated and more diverse arsenal than the besieged Gaza militants to replace exploited strategic means, but it has more difficult challenges too.

Israeli army officers talk with journalists at the entrance of a tunnel said to be used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks before an army-organized tour at the Gaza border on July 25, 2014 (Photo: Jack Guez / Reuters).

Israeli army officers talk with journalists at the entrance of a tunnel said to be used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks before an army-organized tour at the Gaza border on July 25, 2014 (Photo: Jack Guez / Reuters).

 
Hezbollah has cruise missiles and combat/suicidal drones, but experience taught them that no weapon is more reliable than old-fashion rockets. Israel has its air force and air defense to tackle incoming cruise missiles and Hezbollah’s first experience in drone-terror attack on Tel Aviv on August 3rd 2006 was a complete failure. Fore drones, each packed with 30kg of explosive, never reached their targets. Israeli Air Force claimed two kills, but details of the confrontation remain a mystery until today (see also Yochi Dreazen, “The Next Arab-Israeli War Will Be Fought with Drones“, The New Republic, 26.03.2014).

On the other hand Hezbollah’s experience with rockets was a success in the 2006 war. Hezbollah maintained a steady stream of nearly 130 rockets per day organized in 15-16 barrages each with 8-9 rockets plus individual lunches. From almost 4,000 rockets, fired by Hezbollah 900 hit Israel, causing 54 casualties and 250 seriously wounded (cf.: Andrew F. Krepinevich, “7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century“, New York: Bantam Dell, 2009, p. 129-30).

Comparing Lebanon’s statistics to Gaza 2014, with 2,100 rockets fired so far, 250 intercepted by Iron Dome and two rockets scoring casualties, Hezbollah eight years ago appeared nearly twice more accurate than Palestinians today. But the Lebanese militia has a different challenge; they must aim deeper into Israel to achieve strategic weight. While better aiming of massive rocket torrents could overwhelm Iron Dome system, Hezbollah does not have many medium- or long-range rockets to begin with. In fact, less than 10 percent of Hezbollah’s arsenal were medium to long range rockets manufactured mainly by Syria or China in the battle of 2006.

This does not look good for the Lebanese militia, in case of any major confrontation with Israel, they wouldn’t have any strategic military leverage against Israel. Furthermore, for years, Hezbollah has used the rocket-terror equation as a preventive measure against the assassination of its high-ranking officials. A torrent of rockets answered the assassination of its former secretary general, Sayyed Abbas Mousavi, and in later cases, surgical attacks were a common threat in case of high-ranking commanders being targeted by Israel. With outstanding performance of the Iron Dome system, this strategic respond capability is gone too.

But if one thing has been learnt from the history of Hezbollah operation is, as described by Uzi Robin, its ingenuity in asymmetric warfare. Unlike Hamas, which have perished its strategic ally by fighting against Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Hezbollah still has government support from Iran and Syria to receive next generation weaponry to confront Israel’s growing capabilities.

The main weapon acquisition from Hezbollah in recent years was guided rockets. Maj Gen. Yari Golan, commander of the Israeli Northern Command confirmed the transfer of precision weapons to Hezbollah through Syria (“Hezbollah denies it got Syria chemical arms“, Al Jazeera, 24.09.2013). As mentioned before, even precise targeting would not solve the problem as Hezbollah has a limited number of medium range rockets to overwhelm the Israeli air defense – but deception may work well.

Mortar cases are piled at a military staging area near the border with the Gaza Strip on July 24, 2014 (Photo: Nir Elias / Reuters).

Mortar cases are piled at a military staging area near the border with the Gaza Strip on July 24, 2014 (Photo: Nir Elias / Reuters).

 
The Iron Dome is designed around the prediction of the hostile projectile impact zone. Israeli defense is highly sensitive to the concept of “letting the dumb rocket go” as insisting on intercepting each rocket would have serious economic backlashes and threaten strategic missile depots to maintain the defense in long periods of time. In this context guided rockets can perform terminal maneuvres to deceive Israeli defense. A rocket, which is intentionally aimed at an open ground, and being neglected by Iron Dome, can change its course toward a valuable target in terminal stage, when it’s already to late to initiate an interception procedure.

Guided Version of Nazeat-10H rocket with four additional steering nozzels.

Guided Version of Nazeat-10H rocket with four additional steering nozzels.

Along with confirmed delivery of guided rocket to Hezbollah, heavy investment of Iranian defense industry to upgrade existing rockets and add guidance packages indicate that such deceptive tactics are an essential part of the battle plan against Israel. Nearly every known Iranian made rocket has an upgraded precise guidance version:

  • The Nazeat missile family was the first to receive a such upgrades. Comparing to known guided artillery rockets Nazeat uses a unique control method. Instead of usual control fins, Nazeat uses Vernier nozzles, small rockets, to steer. Contrary to control fins, control nozzles doesn’t produce additional drag thus do not reduce rocket’s range. Steering rockets also have a better performance at high altitude correction, but on the down side, they have a limited steering capability and are less accurate.
     
  • Hurmoz with cluster warheads.

    Hurmoz with cluster warheads.

  • The Hurmoz missile family is the guided versions of the Zelzal rockets series. Comparing to the Nazeat family with a range of 130-160km and a 230kg warhead, the Zelzal family provides longer hand and heavier warhead with 200-250km and 600kg respectively. The guided Zelzal family, i.e. Hurmoz, is meant to perform sophisticated strikes. It carries various warheads and guidance packages to deal with specialized targets, including a passive radar homing guidance system. The Hurmoz also carries two types of cluster warheads, one with 19 dumb bomblets, each weighting around 30kg, the other with three re-entry vehicles capable of targeting diverse targets. The original Zelzal rockets series has a considerable operational history against Israel. At least two rockets were fired toward Haifa in 2006: one dis-integrated in the air and one stroke open area. In both cases, Israeli officials claimed the Patriot battery stationed in Haifa was not able to engage with the incoming targets as they were outside Patriot’s engagement envelope.
     
  • The 333mm Fajr-5 rocket also has a guided version. During various conflicts through 2006 until Operation “Protective Edge” in 2014, Fajr-5 have been the main weapon to hit deep targets inside Israel including Haifa in 2006 and Tel Aviv in 2012 conflicts. There is no official designation for the guided Fajr-5. The rocket uses fins for steering toward target and an enhanced rocket engine to compensate the reduction of range due to the drag of the control surfaces. While the original Fajr-4 rocket has a minimum range of 32km and a maximum range of 75km, a radical version also have been introduced which can reach as far as 170km with the aid of an auxiliary booster.
  • Guided Fajr-5 Rocket.

    Guided Fajr-5 Rocket.

  • Although guided versions of 122mm Grad rockets also have been offered by Russian defense companies, there is no evidence of any guided rockets smaller than Fajr-5 being in service, in Iran, Syria or Lebanon. But lately footage revealed from testing air to ground precision guided munitions in surface-to-surface modes have prompted the possibility of existence of tactical guided ammunition in Iran’s (and its allies) arsenal.
     
  • One considerable weapon is the Bina missile. It is a combination of AGM-65 Maverick engine and warhead with a GBU-10/12 laser guidance. An AGM-65-strengthed strike is quite enough to target a small house used as a field command post or take out any armored vehicle even strike light bridges. Bina is believed to range 10 to 12 km in surface-to-surface mode.

 
Back in 2006, Hezbollah commanders could only choose between cities now they can choose targets and mission types. They can choose to pressure ground troops with CAS-type strikes, suppress artillery or air bases in critical first hours of the battle. But Hezbollah’s new weapons represent, regarding possible scenarios, not the faith of future battle in Lebanon.

New weapons represent new challenges. Guided weapons are more sensitive to environmental environment they have less storage life and should be inspected routinely. To get the most out of the weapons, new rockets have to be combined with old unguided rockets, drones and cruise missiles. These employment tactics have to be carefully rehearsed and optimized though time. Guidance is a serious challenge too. Iranians use a domestic land based positioning system called “Hoda“, which provides centimetric precision up to 200km outside Iran’s border. Hezbollah can’t use such system since stationary signal sources would be destroyed by the Israeli Air Force in the first hours of any conflict. Using inertial navigation also means the necessity of precise topological maps and the reduction of launchers mobility.

Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria only adds to the problems. The group has been fighting a completely different battle for the past two years than it is expected with Israel in Lebanon. The diversity between fighting methods in these two battlefields most certainly would affect training and preparation of Hezbollah’s elite units to fight against Israel. Assassination of critical individuals in Hezbollah’s weapon program, including Brig. Gen. Hessam Khoshnevis from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods force and Hesan Al Laqqis, chief of Hezbollah’s weapon program, probably contributed to the lack of readiness of Hezbollah’s weapons.

Even with so much serious challenge, the lowest case scenario is Hezbollah is using guided rockets only to increase precision of attacks while still sustaining attrition against Iron Dome. 10 percent of all rockets fired toward Israel, with an unlikely presumption that total launch numbers would remain the same, are half of the rockets that hit Israel in the 2006 war. But this time rockets wouldn’t hit deserted streets and parking lots. Even fewer hits on power plants, electricity distribution posts, gas stations etc. would have a more sensible impact on Israeli’s civilian life. For Hezbollah, guided rockets would preserve balance even if cruise missiles and drones wouldn’t change the battle scene. Hezbollah can even restore its, partially lost, preventive and surgical retaliatory capabilities. These capabilities will form a new balance of power rather than preserving the old equations.

References
Uzi Rubin, “The Rocket Campaign against Israel during the 2006 Lebanon War“, Mideast Security and Policy Studies No. 71, June 2007.

More Information
Jassem Al Salami, “Iran’s Flying Tanks in Iraq“, War is Boring, 12.07.2014.

Posted in English, Gaza, International, Iran, Jassem Al Salami, Lebanon, Syria, Terrorism | Leave a comment