Strategic complexity.

Author:Drwiega, Andrew

It is my great pleasure to take over as editor of Armada International from my good friend and colleague Thomas Withington who is, as the say in show business, a very hard act to follow.

I was born in the early 60s and have clear early memories of growing up during the Cold War with regular news of NATO exercises across the North German Plain, the importance of protecting the Fulda Gap which was considered one of the main routes for any invading Soviet tank attack on West Germany from Eastern Europe, and of course the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between America and Russia, know as SALT 1 and SALT II. These were then followed by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty talks (otherwise known as the START series).

While the threat of state-on-state war across a linear battlefield was clear and present, there was an enduring feeling that both sides really understood the meaning of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), and despite all of their weaponry, neither side was eager to pull the trigger (although there were a few tense moments).

The world has changed substantially since those times. The rise of extremism among nonstate actors and, most importantly, their access to high technology and their ability to recruit and spread fear across the world through their actions continues to dominate the headlines of the international media.

These actions too can have major implications for the world's traditional and rising superpowers and their allies: the United States; a resurgent Russia; and China, which has awoken from its long slumber and has taken its place at the superpower table.

Spheres of influence and becoming less defined and old norms challenged. The Russian military's active participation in the Syrian conflict would have been considered an...

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