Warships Pod

Dormant NATO & Russia: Confront or Contain?

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Episode notes

Back for a second discussion of hot topics are guests Dr Gary Blackburn and Dr David Blagden. With host Iain Ballantyne, they weigh up the prospect of European NATO nations being forced to cope with a bigger burden of defence, if a re-elected President Trump decides to to pull American land forces out of the Continent. It is a policy that is being called ‘Dormant NATO’ by some commentators.

They also consider whether or not the confrontation between missile-firing Houthi rebels and Western navies in the Red Sea is becoming a forgotten contest, with warships that were once committed to protecting sea trade now diverted elsewhere.

With European taxpayers getting a subsidy on their own defence - due to the USA carrying the NATO burden -  it is suggested that (even if America did not pull out or scale back forces in annoyance) its strategic and military rivalry with China - which is building a huge navy - may force Washington to concentrate even more on Asia-Pacific.

In discussing the fact that certain sanctions on Russia, for invading Ukraine in 2022, may be less than waterproof, the subject of whether to directly confront Moscow or stick to a long, hard policy of containment - in ‘Cold War 2’ - is also touched upon by the trio.

•The next (July) edition of Warships IFR is published on June 21 in the UK and globally. Visit the magazine web site http://bit.ly/wifrmag  Also, follow us on X @WarshipsIFR Facebook @WarshipsFR and Warships IFR TV on YouTube @warshipsifrtv3668 For more on various editions of the magazine https://bit.ly/wifri

•Dr Gary Blackburn is an honorary fellow of the Centre for Security Studies at the University of Hull. Gary has taught Security Studies and Military History at the Universities of Leeds and Hull, respectively - and has written for Defence Studies and The Critic, and for the latter about aspects of the UK’s 2021 Integrated Review of Defence and Security. Follow him on X at @gjb70

•Dr David Blagden, is Senior Lecturer in International Security at the Strategy and Security Institute (SSI) and in the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Exeter. Dr Blagden has worked in - and subsequently consulted for - the UK Cabinet Office, provided evidence for a number of Parliamentary Select Committees and HM Government policy reviews. 

He is also a Visiting Fellow of the Royal Navy Strategic Studies Centre, an Associate of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies. He has written for outlets including The Guardian, The Spectator and the New Statesman. Follow him on X @blagden_david

•Iain Ballantyne is the founding and current Editor of Warships IFR (first published in 1998) along with its ‘Guide to the Royal Navy’ (since 2003) and ‘Guide to the US Navy’ (since 2018). Iain is also author of the books ‘Hunter Killers’ (Orion) and ‘The Deadly Trade’ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), both about submarine warfare, plus ‘Arnhem: Ten Days in The Cauldron’ and ‘Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom’ (published by Canelo). In 2017 Iain was awarded a Maritime Fellowship by the British Maritime Foundation. Visit his web site Bismarckbattle.com and follow him on X @IBallantyn ]]>