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This week in Austrian defence | April 23

In Blog, English by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

TWIAD is your weekly, English-language briefing on national security and defence affairs in the alpine republic. The most relevant news reports, press releases, articles and announcements are recapped and, where necessary, given some context for greater accessibility. Feel free to get in touch with us and give us your feedback and thoughts, ask questions in the comments and join the #TWIAD raucity on Twitter! Eurofighter Typhoon committee of inquiry specifies its schedule The parliamentary committee for the inquiry into the Eurofighter Typhoon deal has penciled in a schedule: sessions are to be held twice a week, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with two to three witnesses per day. The schedule is to be confirmed on May 9, with sessions to commence thereafter. Row over sexist recruitment ad  A media row ensued after the Armed Forces released a recruitment ad containing a pun building on the homonymic German abbreviations for bra and Bundesheer.  The MoD spokesman was quick to admit a mistake and said that the hurried release ahead of a nationwide recruiting event for women had not undergone the usual checks. (Indeed, even the armed forces’ URL was spelt wrongly in the ad.) The headlines dealt a blow to the current recruitment drive for more female uniformed …

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Khan Shaykhun is Thightening the Syrian Knot

In Blog by David FussiLeave a Comment

This article sheds light on events in the run-up Khan Shaykhun chemical attack on April 4, 2017 as well as its context and likely consequences for the war in Syria. Read the full article in German. In the weeks prior to the April 4 chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, fierce battling between government and rebel forces had taken place along several fronts across Syria. Political landmarks such as the end of Turkey’s mission “Euphrates Shield” and its expected pivot towards expulsing Kurdish forces from the border region fell into the same period. No solid proof of the identity of the attack’s perpetrators has materialised thus far. International reactions were mixed, with Western governments largely putting the blame on the Syrian regime. A “retaliatory” US cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base took place on April 7. It is furthermore not entirely who has been controlling the area around Khan Shaykhun and might thus have been the target of the April 4 attack. The term “rebels” is indiscriminately used for a broad range of groups that differ in their origins, aims and motifs as well as in their supporters from abroad. At the same time, the near-total absence of observers that …

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This week in Austrian defence | April 9

In Blog, English, weekly review by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

TWIAD is your weekly, English-language briefing on national security and defence affairs in the alpine republic. The most relevant news reports, press releases, articles and announcements are recapped and, where necessary, given some context for greater accessibility. Feel free to get in touch with us and give us your feedback and thoughts, ask questions in the comments and join the #TWIAD raucity on Twitter! €19.84m MoD expenditures on external services in 2016 The Austrian Ministry in Defence in a response to MP Nikolaus Scherak’s parliamentary inquiry revealed its 2016 expenditures for externally sourced services, totalling €19.84m. This equals about half of the government’s total stated expenditures of €42.2m in that category. The figure does not, however, include all ministries. Item Cost Transport Services €6.59m Trainings €4,73m “Task Force Eurofighter” €3.4m Media and advertisement €0.95m Other  €4.17m TOTAL €19.84m A comprehensive tabular list of all stated expenditures can be found here (German). Alouette III retiring in 2020 Contrary to what has been reported last month, Austria’s venerable Alouette III helicopters are not going to remain in service until 2025, but scheduled to retire in 2020. According to Milnews.at, there will be no direct successor and pilots will be retrained for the AB-212. The AB-212 has been touted a poor …

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€19,84m for externally sourced services in 2016

In Blog by Christoph BilbanLeave a Comment

The Austrian Ministry in Defence in a response to MP Nikolaus Scherak’s parliamentary inquiry revealed its 2016 expenditures for externally sourced services, totalling €19.84m. This equals about half of the government’s total stated expenditures of €42.2m in that category. The figure that does not, however, include all ministries. Item Cost Transport Services €6.59m Trainings €4,73m “Task Force Eurofighter” €3.4m Media and advertisement €0.95m Other  €4.17m TOTAL €19.84m A comprehensive tabular list of all stated expenditures can be found in the German version of this article. Featured image (top): Bundesheer/Gerhard SIMADER

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This week in Austrian defence | April 2

In Blog, English, weekly review by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

TWIAD is your weekly, English-language briefing on national security and defence affairs in the alpine republic. The most relevant news reports, press releases, articles and announcements are recapped and, where necessary, given some context for greater accessibility. Feel free to get in touch with us and give us your feedback and thoughts, ask questions in the comments and join the #TWIAD raucity on Twitter! Bundesheer foreign missions: figures updated March 2017 figures were published for the Austrian Armed Forces’ foreign deployments. 1,105 personnel are currently serving in 15 overseas missions. Mission Name Mission Area Personnel EUFOR ALTHEA Bosnia-Herzegowina 313 KFOR Kosovo 474 UNIFIL Lebanon 180 EUTM RCA Central African Republic 3 OSCE Armenia Armenia 1 AUTCON HUN Hungary 50 OSCE SMMU Ukraine 11 RCM Afghanistan 10 MINURSO Western Sahara 5 EUTM Mali Mali 6 EUNAVFOR MED SOPHIA Mediterranean Sea 23 RACVIAC Croatia 1 UNFICYP Cyprus 4 UNTSO Middle East 4 EUMM Georgia Georgia 4 TOTAL 1,105 New commanding general for EUFOR ALTHEA Austrian GenMjr (MAJGEN) Anton Waldner assumed command of EUFOR troops in Bosnia-Herzegowina on March 28. Austria is the largest supplier of troops for the peace mission, with Turkey coming second among 19 partner nations in total. Diplomatic rows between the two top contributors are …

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New weapons and personal gear for Austrian soldiers

In Blog, English by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

Featured image: Austrian Armed Forces Photograph / Pusch On March 29, a range of small arms and new personal equipment for Bundesheer soldiers were announced: new assault and sniper rifles, protective equipment, CRC gear, NVGs and uniform items, to name but a few. This article lays out the details and prods the figures.

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This week in Austrian defence | March 25

In Blog, English by Bernhard VölklLeave a Comment

TWIAD is your weekly, English-language briefing on national security and defence affairs in the alpine republic. The most relevant news reports, press releases, articles and announcements are recapped and, where necessary, given some context for greater accessibility. Feel free to get in touch with us and give us your feedback and thoughts, ask questions in the comments and join the #TWIAD raucity on Twitter! For this week’s premiere, we are going back a little further, recapping articles starting March 15.

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The world is at the brink of war – News from Valery Gerasimov

In Blog, English by Christoph BilbanLeave a Comment

On March 15, 2017, a new article by Valery Gerasimov was published in the Military-Industrial Courier. Titled “The world is at the brink of war” the subtitle is more enlightening actually . Gerasimov presents a view according to which foresight is more important than focusing on lessons identified from current conflicts. Related to the 2013 “Gerasimov Doctrine” (see the Russian orginal here), this article is wellworth taking a closer look. There’s novelty in the end, but loads of well-known before. (Kudos to Hanna Grininger for drawing my attention to the article discussed below.)

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Language and Security – A Philological Point of View

In Blog by Hanna GriningerLeave a Comment

In the fields of marketing and public relations the value of getting your texts, slogans and advertising messages right is well known. Yet, in the scientific field of international relations the power of words is still underestimated, despite some scholars working on and with political discourse analysis. The last months showed an increased interest in the role of language in political processes. During the Austrian presidential elections the use of NLP by Norbert Hofer was discussed, and the EU enlarged its task force to counter Russian disinformation. Read more [German]