The Military Balance 2012
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Mar. 7 (DP.net).─ The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) just published its annual publication The Military Balance 2012. This is an annual assessment of the military capabilities and defense economics of 171 countries world-wide that supplements the pictographically detailed books published by Jane's Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis.
This year’s Military Balance includes brief textual summaries of countries’ military capabilities to help inform readers’ understanding of the numerical data. Also for the first time, the book has brief assessments of individual states’ cyber capacities, including relevant organizations and assessed capabilities. According to the IISS «military cyber power could be defined as ‘the use, or threatened use, of cyberspace and other resources to effect strategic aims in and through cyberspace against the resistance or wishes of others.’»
This edition assesses developments in the Middle East, in particular the recent upheavals in Libya, Egypt and Syria. In the case of Syria, it considers that “President Assad’s apparent strategy has been to secure regime loyalists, and of course suppress the opposition, while keeping the level of conflict below that which would risk triggering international intervention.” Regarding the Libyan conflict, it “was also noteworthy because of the overwhelming predominance of precision-guided air-launched munitions, setting a new standard for those taking part in future such operations”.
The book takes into account that the political and military landscape in the Middle East and North Africa is being reshaped, “with long-held assumptions about regional power balances, military capabilities and deterrence being challenged. For example, the Arab Awakening has seen unprecedented willingness by several Arab governments to back, and participate in, military operations”.
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