I want to take this article on 'new weapons that are changing the war in #NagornoKarabakh' to talk a bit about #drones in this conflict. (1/8)
tagesschau.de/ausland/bergka…
As someone who's been looking into #drones, two things I found interesting:
First, the conflict showed again the important propaganda value of drones. As drones carry sophisticated surveillance tech, they document every strike they make (if armed), or operation flown. (2/8)
So using drones is like having a film crew with you, and Azerbaijan in particular has taken advantage of this, publishing clips of their drone operations. (3/8)
Second, and more importantly: there used to be a conviction among drone researchers, that today's drones wouldn't play a big role in interstate conflicts, because they are rather vulnerable and not very powerful. (4/8)
The general understanding (generalising a bit here) was that today's #drones were only really useful in areas where the drone user had aerial superiority, so for example when fighting non-state actors. (5/8)
But now we see two states use drones against each other, and with quite some impact. I think the analysis of many drone researchers, including myself, was too focused on larger military powers. (6/8)
Because for smaller states, which do have air forces, but only have a limited number of aircraft - as is the case for both Armenia and Azerbaijan - drones are quite an important contribution because they boost aerial capabilities. (7/8)
I think that's what we are seeing at the moment. (end)
Addendum: Quite fascinating that we now seeing old *manned aircraft* being repurposed as disposable #drones (as #Azerbaijan is doing with old Antonov An-2).

(And yes I know there is a long history of that from the beginning of drone development)

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More from @RikeFranke

4 May
Yesterday, the candidate for chancellor for the German Greens, Annalena Baerbock gave a long recorded interview *on foreign and security policy*.
You can watch it here: baks.bund.de/de/aktuelles/d…
Thread with some things I find noteworthy.
This interview is in and of itself really good news. We *need* to talk more about security and defence policy, and foreign policy in Germany.

(You think you've heard me say this before? Well yes I have warontherocks.com/2019/02/it-is-… )
Some thoughts on what Baerbock said & how she did (my take, obviously).
Overall, she appeared rather well informed on the relevant topics - though not very concrete in her proposals.
Read 21 tweets
1 May
Massive reading recommendation for the German speakers. This article by ⁦@berndulrich⁩ ⁦@DIEZEIT⁩ is the best analysis I’ve read so far about Black-Green.
Spoiler: it’s not good.

Es blubbert, aber es leuchtet nicht: epaper.zeit.de/article/1da006…
So so well observed. Image
So so well observed part II Image
Read 4 tweets
23 Apr
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation has put out a good report on German #drones.

Whaat, Rike siding with the LINKE?!
Well no, but I can appreciate good research and (overall) coherent arguments.
(Short thread)

rosalux.de/fileadmin/rls_…
The report is written by @matthimon who has been working on this for many years (I spoke with him for my PhD research ages ago).
He clearly knows his stuff and the report is a good overview of German #drone capabilities.
A sidenote here: there is little love lost between me and the LINKE but they have been playing a great role in German drone politics through their inquiries (questions to the government). I used these questions and answers extensively in my research. That's just good politics.
Read 18 tweets
22 Apr
The Annual Edelman Trust Barometer has been published with some really interesting insights

edelman.com/sites/g/files/…
Good news for Germany: the German government is highly trusted abroad.

(“Please indicate how much you trust the national government of each of the following countries to do what is right”) Image
This shows nicely what a fickle and inexact thing ‘trust’ is: Trump voters, after the election in which their candidate lost, suddenly trust US NGOs, the media, and even US business much less.
🤷‍♀️ Image
Read 4 tweets
30 Mar
What a discussion between German Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU, President of Bundestag) and ⁦@GoulardSylvie⁩ (LREM, former MEP, former French defence minister)! 😮

Schäuble: „Deutsche wären bereit, auf nationale Armee zu verzichten“ - WELT welt.de/politik/deutsc…
A Franco-German interview that *starts* with questions about security and defence? Where things actually go beyond “we’re striving to create a European Army... eventually”? Pretty neat!
Schäuble: “I regret that the Aachen Treaty did not include more on the cooperation on the military level. That this is missing today wasn’t Paris fault.”
Read 5 tweets
28 Mar
I found this point really interesting so I went and checked - and unless I am missing something there actually hasn’t been a change: the 2015 review also only mentioned NATO allies in the nuclear context.
While the UK was part of the EU, it was bound by the EU‘s mutual defence clause (article 42.7, basically the EU‘s article 5). But (like with article 5) there is a lot of leeway there re national commitments. And the UK never really saw that to include its nuclear capabilities.
Finally, it’s important to recognise that while these debates matter for deterrence purposes, if we ever actually face a situation in which the UK might use its nuclear weapons discussions over which treaties apply probably won’t be #1 priority.
Read 4 tweets

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