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The Military Balance 2012

The Military Balance 2012Mar. 7 (─ 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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Asia defence spending overtakes Europe

New weapons aquired by Asian nationsMar. 7.─ Asian defence spending is this year set to exceed that of Europe for the first time in modern history as European Union nations slash their military budgets and Chinese expenditure accelerates, a leading think-tank reports on Wednesday.

In a blunt assessment of the shift in the global redistribution of military power across the world, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) says Asia is becoming increasingly militarised as a result of rapid economic growth and strategic uncertainty.

At the same time, European states are responding to the economic crisis in the west by cutting military budgets, with some 16 Nato member states in Europe reducing annual budgets between 2008 and 2010.

"Since the financial crisis in 2008, there has been a convergence in European and Asian defence spending levels," the IISS says in its annual publication The Military Balance.

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North Korea agrees to nuclear moratorium

Korean leader agrees on nuclear moratoriumMar. 1.─ North Korea has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and nuclear and long-range missile tests in a breakthrough in negotiations with the United States, which is set to provide food aid in return.

The rare simultaneous announcements Wednesday by the two longtime adversaries could clear the way for resumption of multi-nation disarmament-for-aid talks that the North withdrew from in 2009.

Coming just over two months after the death of longtime ruler Kim Jong Il, it signals a willingness by the secretive government under his untested youngest son, Kim Jong Un, to improve ties with the U.S. and win aid.

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EGYPT: Hosni Mubarak resigns

  • Steps down after 18 days of demonstrations Egyptians celebrate Mubarak's fall
    VicePresident Suleiman reads on TV short statement on resignation

Cairo, Feb.11.─ Hosni Mubarak stepped down as president of Egypt and handed power to the military, bowing to the demands of protesters who have occupied central Cairo for the past three weeks demanding an end to his 30-year rule. Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement in a statement on state television today. Bloomberg's Margaret Brennan and Lara Setrakian report on Video.

The 30-second statement on state television was read by Vice President Omar Suleiman at 6:02 p.m. local time:

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