Nato defence spending falls despite promises to reverse cuts

By Jonathan Beale

Colin Archer of IPB comments: It is disappointing to see both the BBC and the European Leadership Network bewailing the continuing (though still small) decline in military spending. And also that they persist in using the “% of GDP” comparison, whereas if they looked at the actual proportion of government spending as a whole the percentage would be much higher.

Despite the Ukraine crisis and increasing tensions with Russia, most Nato members are doing little to reverse the decline in their defence spending. Continue reading–>

The situation in Syria is only going to get worse … and here’s why

by Melissa Fleming

I vividly recall my conversations with refugees when the Syria conflict was just one year old. There were still fewer than a million people who had fled for safety to neighboring countries, I made my first visit to Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, where thousands were still trying to maintain a semblance of normality in threadbare campsites.

Many were visibly traumatized. Smiles of welcome quickly faded to frowns of troubled reflection. Eyes turned wet when the conversation deepened. The violence had taken away their homes, and killed or maimed their friends and family. But most were confident that the war would end soon, and that their life in a tent was only temporary. Continue reading–>

Arms exporters eye deals at Mideast’s largest defense show

by Stanley Carvalho

(Reuters) – International firms will scramble for new orders at the Middle East’s largest arms show which opens in Abu Dhabi next week as oil-rich Gulf states load up on weapons in a region rocked by instability and violence.

The Middle East is the largest market driver in the industry with billions of dollars spent annually on buying military equipment, from drones and jet fighters to guided missiles. Continue reading–>