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Dominic Nicholls: The porcupine theory of Taiwanese defence

  • Dominic Nicholls. The Telegraph
  • Category: Headlines
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As the world draws breath after the first six months of the war in Ukraine, another potential flashpoint demands attention: Taiwan.

Although the capital cities are 8,000 kilometres apart, Kyiv and Taipei share similar defence priorities and should learn from each other as they seek to fend off imperialist neighbours.

The war in Ukraine shows that we may be entering the era of porcupine tactics. If it is impossible to render one’s country impervious to the ambitions of bullies, perhaps, the argument goes, one has to raise the cost of any aggression to an unacceptable level. In short, promise the bully such a thorny reception that even if he is likely, eventually, to succeed, he decides to desist because the amount of pain he would have to endure to prevail is unacceptable.

To become a porcupine is a bold strategy and calls for a complete change of thinking as regards defence equipment, training and structures.

Instead of investing, as its is, in small quantities of high-spec military kit such as U.S. F-16 fighter jets and M1A2 Abrams tanks, perhaps Taiwan should be buying or making vast quantities of cheaper, less sophisticated equipment. As Ukraine’s stout defence of its territory has shown the world, relatively cheap anti-tank systems, such as the American Javelin or Anglo-Swedish NLAW easy-to-master surface-to-air missiles, can in the right hands and in sufficient quantities hold back an army the size of Russia’s.

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FBI boss reveals discipline for officials wrongly manipulating Trump-Russia collusion has been slowed

Christopher Wray finds whistleblower allegations about FBI'S Hunter Biden investigation 'Deeply troubling'.

Christopher Wray testifies before Senate Judiciary CommitteeChristopher Wray testifies before Senate Judiciary CommitteeWashington DC, Aug. 4.– FBI Director Christopher Wray said disciplinary action against agents involved in the bureau’s Trump-Russia investigation has been “slowed down” due to ongoing cooperation with special counsel John Durham.

An FBI analyst whose assessment was used to label Hunter Biden evidence as "disinformation" wrongly in 2020, according to whistleblower disclosures, was referred for disciplinary action for his role in Crossfire Hurricane just months before doing so, but Wray confirmed during Senate testimony on Thursday that the process has largely paused.

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NIGERIA: President Buhari calls for more Int’l collaboration to tackle banditry, insurgency

Nigerian army anti-terrorist corpNigerian army anti-terrorist unit
Security forces’ve been given full freedom to deal with terrorists

Nigeria had been working with other member-states of ECOWAS and other regional blocs to deal with the problems of terrorism, trans-border crimes, maritime crimes such as piracy

Abuja, Aug.3.– President Muhammadu Buhari has called for more international collaboration to tackle terrorism, banditry and insurgency in the country. This is as he has called on diplomats to monitor political developments in the country, leading to the 2023 elections, but remain true to their professional ethics of non-interference.

He stated this, yesterday, in Abuja when he received Letters of Credence of Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, James Christoff and Ambassador of Mexico to Nigeria, Juan Miranda Oritz.

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Russia launches missiles at Kiev from Belarus as Ukrainian forces counterattack

Kiev, July 28.– Russia launched a barrage of missiles at Ukraine’s capital from neighboring Belarus early Thursday as Kyiv’s counteroffensive in the crucial city of Kherson appeared to be gathering momentum.

At least 20 missiles were fired from Belarus, Moscow’s key ally in its 5-month-old invasion of Ukraine, striking an apartment block in the Chernihiv region and buildings outside the country’s capital.

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Central America: ‘The regression of democracy has been immense’

July 22.– Ana María Méndez-Dardón, Central America Director at WOLA, says the region’s Ana María Méndez-DardónAna María Méndez-Dardóndemocracies are facing one of the most fragile moments in recent decades. She finds common traits among the authoritarian governments that are taking hold in several Central American countries with the assault on the separation of powers and the attacks against representatives of civil society, including justice advocates and independent journalists. She also warns that the risk to the region is growing even greater at a time when democracy is in crisis on a global level, including in the United States.

In this conversation, Méndez-Dardón highlights key elements to understand the current dynamics and challenges in the region. She emphasizes issues such as failed justice systems, lack of judicial independence, endemic corruption and the capture of the state by illicit networks and organized crime.

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