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MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA3 Regional Friction Over Yemen’s Socotra Island5 Is Iran Ready to Send Its Navy to Japan?6 Iran Unveils New Unmanned Helicopter7 Iran, Russia to Jointly Manufacture Helicopter8 Russia and Iran Compete for Syria’s Phosphates9 Turkey’s Upcoming Challenge on the Syrian Border10 Tensions Between Anti-ISIS Allies in the Euphrates Valley12 Iranianian Influence and Assassinations in the KurdistanRegional Government13 A New Insurgency Group in Iraq: The White Flags14 Turkish Armed Forces Hold the Ephesus 2018 JoinedCombined Live Fire Event
AFRICA16 A Perspective on the UAE Base in the Horn of Africa17 Ethiopia’s Somaliland Port Deal: a Step Towards theBalkanization of Somalia?18 Somalia and Somaliland Talks: Marriage or Divorce?19 Somali National Army: Donors Demand Less Corruption,Stronger Force20 Ugandan Soldiers “Stranded” in Somalia21 Herders and Farmers Clash in the Sahel with IncreasingFrequency and Firepower
22 De-radicalization in Niger’s Diffa Region23 Terror Tactics in Burkina Faso24 Nigeria’s Boko Haram Dilemma: Amnesty for Atrocities?25 From Students to Separatists in Cameroon
LATIN AMERICA26 Examining Receita Federal’s Role in the Border Security of Brazil27 The Evolution of Brazil’s Defense Industry28 How the Fragmentation of Drug Cartels Drives Violence in Mexico29 Three In One FARC30 Colombian Military in Disarray?31 ELN Flexing32 About Catatumbo33 Bolivarian Oil34 Venezuela as a Major Topic of Discussion at VIII Summit of the Americas Despite Its Absence35 Nicaragua’s Turn
INDO-PACIFIC36 Singapore’s Anti-Terror Maritime Methods37 The Modernization of Malaysia’s Armed Forces is Underway38 India Looks at China’s Expansion in the Indian Ocean39 Indonesia Steps up Military Presence in the Natuna Islands40 Is China Changing the Game in Trans-Polar Shipping?
41 China Develops New Anti-Ship Cruise Missile42 The Y-20 Participates in Airborne Training for the First Time43 Civil-Military Fusion and the PLA’s Pursuit of Dominance in Emerging Technologies45 The Indian Government’s Efforts to Avoid Another Doklam Standoff47 Incidents in Indonesia Highlight Terrorism Trends
EURASIA48 The Russian Navy: Distributed Lethality Through Modularity51 Beating Virtual War Drums52 The Naval Infantry’s New Ride?53 Defending the New Kerch Strait Bridge54 “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”55 The One Time in the Year We Get Bananas55 Good Job For a Drifter-Must Enjoy Bracing Climes56 Russian Robots on Parade57 UAV Use in the Russian Armed Forces59 Russian Praise of Syrian Air Defense60 Russia Wants SCO Help in Syria61 No End in Sight for Donbas Conflict63 Russian Operational Reserve Developments65 Investments in Kazakhstan’s Space Agency67 The Outlook on Armenia’s Military Reforms
The Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is part of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command G-2, whose mission is to Understand, Describe, Deliver, and Assess the conditions of the Operational Environment. For over 30 years, FMSO has conducted open source research on foreign perspectives of defense and security issues, emphasizing those topics that are understudied or unconsidered.
Operational Environment Watch provides translated selections and commentary from a diverse range of foreign media that our analysts and expert contributors believe will give security professionals an added dimension to their critical thinking about the Operational Environment.
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Regional Analysts and Expert Contributors
AfricaRobert FeldmanJacob Zenn Latin AmericaDodge BillingsleyGeoff DemarestBrenda Fiegel
Indo-Pacific Cindy HurstLorand LaskaiMatt SchraderMatthew SteinPeter WoodJacob Zenn
Editor-in-Chief - Tom WilhelmEditor - Matthew SteinDesign Editor - Lucas WinterMobile Design - Thomas Tolare