Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

15 September 2017

*Central And Eastern Europe's Crisis Of Convergence

by Adriano Bosoni

As the European Union braces for reform, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are approaching a crossroads. Some are interested in drawing closer to the bloc: The leaders of Slovakia and the Czech Republic recently said that their countries belong in the "core" of the union, and a minister from Romania spoke about joining the eurozone within five years. But others are keeping their distance: The Hungarian and Polish governments insist that the European Union has no right to interfere in their domestic affairs. These developments show an increasing awareness in the region that strategic decisions are fast approaching.

The countries of Central and Eastern Europe have a complex relationship with the European Union. They rushed to join the bloc after the end of the Cold War, and since then, they have been among the fastest-growing countries in Europe. They are all net receivers of European funds, and their populations are for the most part supportive of EU membership. But many of them have only partially embraced Continental integration, remaining outside the eurozone and resisting Brussels' attempts to interfere with their domestic policies.

Several governments have accused the union of undermining their national sovereignty and identity. They see the bloc as a club of nations that cooperate in areas of common interest, but remain as sovereign as possible. Recently, several Central and Eastern European countries have tried to increase military, economic and energy cooperation from the Baltic to the Black seas to enhance their autonomy. The Visegrad Group in particular is a key tool for the region to express its views on continental affairs. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are members, and they also invite Romania and Bulgaria to some of their meetings. The group has been particularly critical of an EU Commission plan to distribute asylum seekers across the bloc, which they see as a confirmation of their misgivings about Brussels.

13 September 2017

To understand Britain, read its spy novels


FEW countries have dominated any industry as Britain has dominated the industry of producing fictional spies. Britain invented the spy novel with Rudyard Kipling’s dissection of the Great Game in “Kim” and John Buchan’s adventure stories. It consolidated its lead with Somerset Maugham’s Ashenden stories and Graham Greene’s invention of “Greeneland”. It then produced the world’s two most famous spooks: James Bond, the dashing womaniser, and George Smiley, the cerebral cuckold, who reappears this week in a new book (see page 75).

What accounts for this success? One reason is the revolving door between the secret establishment and the literary establishment. Some of the lions of British literature worked as spies. Maugham was sent to Switzerland to spy for Britain under cover of pursuing his career as a writer. Greene worked for the intelligence services. Both Ian Fleming, the creator of Bond, and John le Carré, the creator of Smiley, earned their living as spies. Dame Stella Rimington, head of MI5 in 1992-96, has taken to writing spy novels in retirement. It is as if the secret services are not so much arms of the state as creative-writing schools.

Another reason is that British reality has often been stranger than fiction. The story of the “Cambridge spies”—Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess and the rest—is as far-fetched as it gets. One Soviet mole at the top of MI6 (Philby, who also worked for The Economist in Beirut); another even looking after the queen’s pictures (Blunt); a cover-up; a dash to the safety of the Soviet Union; larger-than-life characters such as the compulsively promiscuous and permanently sozzled Burgess.

12 September 2017

Global power is shifting to Asia – and Europe must adapt to that

Natalie Nougayrède
 
In 2012, McKinsey analysts, using data from the University of Groningen, released a striking map showing how the global economic centre of gravityhas shifted since AD1. Yes, you read that correctly: since Jesus was a year old. Looking at the map now brings a fresh reminder of how Europe’s global position is fast being challenged. Awakening to that reality is why it makes sense to stick together and make the European project thrive, not wither away.

Here’s a glimpse of what the map says. It took one century, from 1820 to 1913, for the centre of gravity (as measured by “weighing” locations’ GDP) to move from Asia to Europe. After the second world war, that point moved across the Atlantic to the United States. In the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, it remained in the western part of the northern hemisphere. Then a dizzying acceleration occurred. In just one decade, from 2000 to 2010, the centre swept back to Asia, reversing almost all the trends of the previous 2,000 years.

We’ve been mentally adjusting to this shift for some time. Books have been written about how this will be the “Asian century”. These days, news headlines about North Korea and China, not to mention Myanmar, serve as a constant reminder of how much of the world’s security – its governance as well as the liberal democratic values that will (or won’t) be upheld – depends on what happens in a part of the world that seems distant to most Europeans.

9 September 2017

*** Revisiting Europe, the Heroic Delusion

By Jacob L. Shapiro

The European Union is what political philosopher Leo Strauss might have called a “heroic delusion.” It is a noble dream, a dream that the only thing necessary for peace in Europe is shared prosperity. And for a time, the EU was living the dream. The hardships of the 2008 financial crisis, however, showed what a flimsy basis shared prosperity was for the EU’s future. Much of the infighting we observe today within the EU is a last-ditch effort by some to give the EU the types of powers it would need to forge an effective and politically sovereign entity. They are unlikely to succeed.

Take the bureaucratic spat between Poland and the European Commission. The two have long been at odds over the current Polish government’s desire to reform Poland’s judicial system in a way that gives it more power to select and remove judges. The latest chapter in the saga began Aug. 28, when Poland’s Foreign Ministry released a statement rejecting the commission’s critiques of Poland as “groundless” and sent a 12-page document of legal reasoning to Brussels to underscore the point. The European Commission fired back Aug. 31, with the deputy head of the commission saying the body would not drop the issue and would seek all means at its disposal to bring Poland to heel. The same day, in an interview with Le Point, French President Emmanuel Macron said Poland’s policies were “very worrying,” saying they call into question European solidarity and even the rule of law itself.

U.S. Army unprepared to deal with Russia in Europe

By WESLEY MORGAN

A self-assessment by the 173rd Airborne Brigade is called ‘a real eye-opener’ to how some critical capabilities to deter Russia have eroded.

The U.S. Army’s rapid reaction force in Europe is underequipped, undermanned and inadequately organized to confront military aggression from Russia or its high-tech proxies, according to an internal study that some who have read it view as a wake-up call as the Trump administration seeks to deter an emboldened Vladimir Putin.

The Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade, a bulwark of the NATO alliance that has spent much of the past decade and a half rotating in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, lacks “essential capabilities needed to accomplish its mission effectively and with decisive speed,” according to the analysis by the brigade, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, the unit's paratroopers were the first American troops to reach the Baltic states to deter another potential incursion on NATO’s eastern flank.

But the assessment details a series of “capability gaps” the unit has identified during recent training with Ukrainian troops with experience battling Russian-backed separatists, who have used cheap drones and electronic warfare tools to pinpoint targets for artillery barrages and devastated government armored vehicles with state-of-the-art Russian antitank missiles.

8 September 2017

EU Defense Is Not Just for Diplomats

By Daniel Keohane

Since the 2016 British vote to leave the EU, European governments have agreed on a number of new initiatives to improve their military cooperation. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in June 2017 that the EU had “moved more in 10 months than in the last 10 years.” European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen went even further, claiming that Europeans had made more progress on defense issues in six months than in the previous sixty years.

These statements are exaggerations. But, Brussels bluster aside, the EU has recently agreed on some useful ideas to improve European military cooperation. They cover a range of activities, from funding for military research to better planning for EU operations, which could add real value to European military efforts.

To ensure that these plans do add value, they will require much more buy-in from national defense ministries. There is a structural quirk at the core of current EU decisionmaking: national foreign ministries, not defense ministries, lead EU military cooperation efforts. This reduces the incentives for defense ministries to embrace EU plans, which include sound but challenging ideas like coordinating national defense planning cycles.

7 September 2017

U.S. Army unprepared to deal with Russia in Europe

By WESLEY MORGAN

A self-assessment by the 173rd Airborne Brigade is called ‘a real eye-opener’ to how some critical capabilities to deter Russia have eroded.

The U.S. Army’s rapid reaction force in Europe is underequipped, undermanned and inadequately organized to confront military aggression from Russia or its high-tech proxies, according to an internal study that some who have read it view as a wake-up call as the Trump administration seeks to deter an emboldened Vladimir Putin.

The Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade, a bulwark of the NATO alliance that has spent much of the past decade and a half rotating in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, lacks “essential capabilities needed to accomplish its mission effectively and with decisive speed,” according to the analysis by the brigade, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, the unit's paratroopers were the first American troops to reach the Baltic states to deter another potential incursion on NATO’s eastern flank.

But the assessment details a series of “capability gaps” the unit has identified during recent training with Ukrainian troops with experience battling Russian-backed separatists, who have used cheap drones and electronic warfare tools to pinpoint targets for artillery barrages and devastated government armored vehicles with state-of-the-art Russian antitank missiles.

EU Defense Is Not Just for Diplomats

By Daniel Keohane

Since the 2016 British vote to leave the EU, European governments have agreed on a number of new initiatives to improve their military cooperation. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in June 2017 that the EU had “moved more in 10 months than in the last 10 years.” European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen went even further, claiming that Europeans had made more progress on defense issues in six months than in the previous sixty years.

These statements are exaggerations. But, Brussels bluster aside, the EU has recently agreed on some useful ideas to improve European military cooperation. They cover a range of activities, from funding for military research to better planning for EU operations, which could add real value to European military efforts.

To ensure that these plans do add value, they will require much more buy-in from national defense ministries. There is a structural quirk at the core of current EU decisionmaking: national foreign ministries, not defense ministries, lead EU military cooperation efforts. This reduces the incentives for defense ministries to embrace EU plans, which include sound but challenging ideas like coordinating national defense planning cycles.

5 September 2017

The Barcelona Terrorist Attack


On 17 August, the worst terrorist attack in Spain since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, which killed 191 people, occurred in Barcelona on Las Ramblas, the famously upbeat Catalan city’s central pedestrian promenade. The attack itself killed 14 people and injured at least 100 others; the attacker stabbed another man to death while hijacking his car and escaping in it; and another person was killed in a linked incident in Cambrils a day later. As in the attack in Nice in July 2016 and subsequent ones elsewhere in Europe, men drove large vehicles into crowded areas frequented by foreigners. People from more than 24 countries were killed or hurt. Of the 16 fatalities, six were Spanish, three Italian, two Portuguese, one Belgian, one Australian-British, one German, one American and one Canadian; two were children. The targeting thus appeared to reflect the terrorists’ ruthless indiscriminateness, as well as their desire to degrade Spain’s appeal as a tourist destination and thereby damage its economy.

Shortly after the attack, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, took credit for it, proclaiming that its ‘soldiers’ had again responded to its exhortations. This characterisation suggested that ISIS central command in the Middle East had merely inspired or endorsed the Barcelona attack, and had not planned or directed it. The Spanish people and government have been especially earnest and effective in rejecting Islamophobia, both in general and in the wake of the Barcelona attack; the alienation of Muslim communities does not appear to be as severe in Spain as in some other European countries. Nevertheless, the attack highlights Spain’s standing vulnerability to jihadist terrorism and illuminates other troubling factors.

4 September 2017

More German ´Blue Helmets´: Four Reasons the Federal Republic of Germany Should Show Greater Commitment to UN Peacekeeping

By Markus Kaim and Lena Strauß 

Should Germany become more involved in UN peacekeeping operations? Markus Kaim and Lena Strauß believe that it should and here explain how four reasons why relate to 1) the urgent needs of UN peacekeeping missions; 2) how UN peacekeeping operations are being rediscovered as effective crisis management tools by European nations; 3) calls within Germany for the country to take on greater responsibility in global affairs; and 4) Germany’s aims to secure a seat on the UN Security Council.

The German Armed Forces is to contribute to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). This is the first time in more than 20 years that Germany has deployed a strong contingent for a United Nations peacekeeping operation, though the UN’s multilateral crisis management is currently required to operate in very different conflict contexts. The Federal Government should scrutinize how Germany can participate more comprehensively and more strategically in these missions than it has done up to now. There are a number of reasons to sustain, prioritize and extend this commitment which pertains to issues of strategy, personnel policy, training and equipment.

3 September 2017

A Nietzschean Lesson On The Use And Abuse Of History


A lot of history is being casually tossed around these days. We see it from energized segments of the "alt-right" throwing up Nazi salutes, calling for a "revolution" against "the Bolsheviks" and marching to chants like "Jews will not replace us." We see it from their anti-fascist adversaries on the left, branding themselves antifa, a movement that draws its roots from the Antifaschistische Aktion resistance from 1930s Germany. We see it from world leaders when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brazenly calls his German and Dutch counterparts Nazis and fascists and when U.S. President Donald Trump ardently defends Confederate statues as symbols of "heritage not hate." We see it from jihadist groups like the Islamic State when a member of the Barcelona attack cell calling himself Abu Lais of Cordoba spookily reminds Spanish Christians to remember "the Muslim blood spilled" during the Spanish Inquisition as the group fights to reincorporate "Al Andalus" into a revived caliphate.

The Third Reich. The Bolshevik Revolution. The American Civil War. The Spanish Inquisition. This is heavy, heavy history. Yet in the words of some actors, some of the darkest days of our historical memory seem to take on a weightless form in today's angst-ridden political discourse. While jarring to observe, this kind of historical levity is to be expected whenever the world moves through a major inflection point. When more wretched periods of history lie just beyond the horizon of the current generation, they become fuzzy, impersonal anecdotes rather than visceral memories that impress upon everyday lives. And when the future looks especially bleak to that same generation, a raucous few can capture the minds of many by plunging deep into the depths of a blemished history to conjure up leaders and legends that, with a bit of polishing and dusting off, can serve as the unadulterated icons of a new world order.

Today's antifa movement in the United States models itself after Germany's anti-fascists in the 1930s. (Public domain)

2 September 2017

Stratfor: about the latest jihadist attack in Europe



Summary: Stratfor reports on the latest attack by ISIS in Europe. It’s a drumbeat of terror, slowly increasing, rooted in Europe’s large and rapidly growing Islamic population. So far the region’s governments have responded with traditional police and security measures. These have failed. What will they do next?

The Islamic State struck again on Aug. 17, when a van ran over people in downtown Barcelona, killing at least 13 and leaving over a hundred injured. {The Islamic State claimed responsibility.} Then in the early hours of Aug. 18, police killed five suspected terrorists after they plowed into people in the city of Cambrils, killing one person. Investigations are underway after the two terrorist attacks in Spain’s Catalonia region. Security forces have arrested four suspects, and they are trying to determine whether the driver of the Barcelona van was among them.

The attackers’ original intention was probably to conduct a large truck bombing in Barcelona. In fact, a safe-house in Alcanar (about 203 kilometers or 126 miles south of Barcelona) exploded on Aug. 16 while at least two people were making the explosives for vehicle bombs. {The explosion killed a woman and injured six other people. An explosion while clearing debris injured several more people. There were over a hundred butane gas containers. Details here.}

31 August 2017

Is Spain About To Break Up? – Analysis

By Conn Hallinan*

When voters in Spain’s Catalan region go to the polls on October 1, much more than independence for the restive province will be at stake.

In many ways the vote will be a sounding board for Spain’s future. But it’s also a test of whether the European Union — divided between north and south, east and west — can long endure.

In some ways, the referendum on Catalan independence is a very Spanish affair, with grievances that run all the way back to Catalonia’s loss of independence in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). But the Catalans lost more than their political freedom when the combined French and Spanish army took Barcelona. They lost much of their language and culture, particularly during the long and brutal dictatorship of Francisco Franco from 1939 to 1975.

The current independence crisis dates back to 2010, when — at the urging of the right-wing People’s Party — the Spanish Constitutional Court overturned an autonomy agreement that had been endorsed by the Spanish and Catalan parliaments. Since then, the Catalans have elected a pro-independence government and narrowly defeated an initiative in 2014 calling for the creation of a free republic. The October 1 vote will re-visit that vote.

29 August 2017

British Counterinsurgency: Returning Discriminate Coercion to COIN

by Zachary L. Morris

On 26 October 2014 British troops withdrew from Camp Bastion Afghanistan, ending a costly and ineffective counterinsurgency campaign.[i] Britain’s withdrawal and failure in Helmand province highlights many of the modern misperceptions about British counterinsurgency theory and practice. While much of the world perceived Great Britain as expert in population centric counterinsurgency, a new pervasive view has begun to examine the actual doctrine and practice of Britain illustrating a complex, controversial, and varied performance. 

British counterinsurgency doctrine evolved gradually over centuries of colonial warfare and low intensity conflict. Modern British doctrine, while espousing many successful principles, neglects some critical lessons from actual British practice. British counterinsurgencies demonstrate significant differences between doctrine and practice, and routine challenges when Britain combats insurgencies involving external support and insurgent popular support. Modern counterinsurgents should learn from British theory and practice by employing the theory while remembering the practice of legal, discriminate, and targeted use of coercion to defeat insurgents and control a population. This paper first examines the evolution of coercion in British written doctrine in three periods: colonial, post-world war, and modern. The second section examines differences between British use of coercion in doctrine and practice. The third section assesses some external factors impacting British ability to apply coercion including international support and popular support. Finally, this paper examines the requirement to relearn the principle of legal, discriminate, and targeted coercion that British doctrine failed to emphasize in modern counterinsurgency.

25 August 2017

*** Where Europe and the Middle East Meet

By Jacob L. Shapiro

Paris. Nice. Brussels. London. Manchester. Europe’s is a long and sordid catalogue of terrorist attacks. The incidents in Barcelona and Cambrils – both in Spain, both within the past week, both claimed by the Islamic State – are only the latest entries.


Terrorism is a phenomenon with which Europe is all too familiar. Consider World War I. The proximate cause of the conflict was an act of terrorism – the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Consider the year 1972, when, in Munich, Black September, a secular Palestinian militant group, killed members of the Israeli Olympic team. That same year was also among the bloodiest of the Troubles of Northern Ireland. The situation was so bad that then-U.S. President Richard Nixon asked the United Nations “to combat the inhuman wave of terrorism that has been loosed on the world.”

The U.N. wasn’t able to do much. Just 13 years later, terrorist organizations carried out multiple attacks on civilian targets: TWA Flight 847, an Italian cruise ship, airports in Vienna and in Rome. In 1986, the Libyan government, led by Moammar Gadhafi, sponsored an attack at a club in West Berlin – to which the U.S. responded with airstrikes. Ronald Reagan said 1986 was the year “the world, at long last, came to grips with the plague of terrorism.” Two years laterwas the Lockerbie bombing.

West Should Keep a Wary Eye on Russia's Zapad War Games


Keir Giles

Russia is currently mixing threatening language designed to intimidate the West with another, contradictory message: that those who fear a Russian military threat are 'hysterical' and hankering for the Cold War.

In Russia and neighbouring Belarus, preparations are underway for Zapad - a major military exercise to be held in September. The two countries' Western neighbours are worried. Zapad is Russian for 'West', and of all the different major exercises in the Russian military calendar, it causes the most excitement and concern because it is the one that most closely resembles practice for invading those neighbours.

As a result, this regular event receives a lot more attention than other Russian manoeuvers of similar size. Held every four years, the exercise can even develop its own mythology: much of the Western coverage said that the 2009 exercise ended with a simulated nuclear attack on Warsaw, Poland, even though there is no evidence at all from unclassified sources to suggest this was the case.

Barcelona is Europe’s seventh vehicle attack in a year. What can be done?

Simon Jenkins

Barcelona is Europe’s seventh vehicle attack in a year. What can be done?

Europe has endured seven acts of vehicle terrorism in the past year, and the Barcelona killer was apparently able just to walk away. What on earth can be done?

Events yesterday in Calatonia suggest that, as with the London Bridge attacks of last spring, police are getting better at responding to these acts of carnage. The swift erection of barriers and the summary shooting of the Cambrils suspects will revive calls for more road blocks and more armed police. In the short term this will be hard to resist, as are calls for ever deeper intrusion into electronic communication.

Moussa Oukabir, 17, confirmed as one of five attackers killed in Cambrils – as it happened
Hours after van killed 13 people and injured 100 in Las Ramblas, seaside town of Cambrils hit by second vehicle attack, leaving one dead and six wounded

Yet the balance must be maintained, between personal liberty and what is, in reality, a highly uncommon threat. That its perpetrators are by definition immune to deterrence makes the menace more horrific, but also near impossible to reduce. We should perhaps remember that acts of “shock and awe” have also been employed as weapons by western governments, from the second world war to Iraq. There is a sense in which the white van is the poor man’s guided missile.

22 August 2017

** Spain a Fault Line Between Islam and the West

Source Link 
BRUCE HOFFMAN

Thursday’s attack in Barcelona – and possibly today’s attack in Finland – are yet more tragic examples of how common objects such as vehicles and knives can be used as weapons by terrorists to generate an overarching sense of fear and inflict mass casualties. Western authorities and intelligence agencies have remained vigilant in thwarting these attacks, but it is nearly impossible to track every potential suspect or to guard every potential target. The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with counterterrorism expert Bruce Hoffman, author of Inside Terrorism, now in its third edition, to discuss the recent events in Barcelona, how the U.S. and countries in the EU are working to combat the evolving terrorist threat, and if we should expect even more ISIS driven attacks as the group continues to lose territory in Syria and Iraq.

The Cipher Brief: Before yesterday’s attack in Barcelona, the most recent large-scale terrorist attack in Spain was in 2004 in Madrid. How effective has Spain’s counterterrorism strategy been over the years?

Bruce Hoffman: Spain, for at least a couple of years now, has been at the second highest level of national alert. So beyond any doubt, the country has been extremely vigilant and well prepared for a terrorist incident. This is a reflection of the fact, at least according to the research of the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid, that there have been nearly 200 arrests of persons in Spain with links to ISIS or al Qaeda between 2013-2016. Interestingly, there has been a similar number of either Spanish nationals or residents of Spain leaving to fight with ISIS overseas, which is even lower than the U.S. number. This strongly points to the fact that the challenge in Spain is very much of a homegrown phenomenon with radicalization occurring both online and throughout social networks in that country itself for operations in Spain and not necessarily elsewhere.

11 August 2017

America's M60 Tank: The Cold War Weapon Russia Feared

Kyle Mizokami

During the Cold War, one U.S. Army main battle tank served longer and fought on more battlefields than any other. While the world is familiar with the now-iconic M1 Abrams tank, the M60 tank served during an important time in American history, defending key American allies and provided the U.S. Army in Europe with a solid, dependable tank to fend off the armored hordes of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. A descendant of Korean War era tanks, the M60 was an example of how incremental advances in military technology could progressively better fighting machines.

The M60 tank was originally based on the M48 Patton tank. Fielded in the early 1950s and itself based on the M47 and M46 tanks, the Patton featured advanced fire control that gave it nearly a 50 percent chance of a first round hit at 1,500 meters, a reduction in crew from five to four, and a hemispherical turret that gave excellent crew protection. The downside of the M48 was a mediocre 90-millimeter main gun and appallingly bad range (seventy miles). Despite these mixed reviews the Patton was rushed into production in 1953.

In 1956, British intelligence acquired information regarding the new Soviet T-55 medium tank. A radical departure from the wartime T-34 series, the T-55 featured the D-10T 100-millimeter rifled gun. This new threatened to outgun NATO armies whose tanks were largely equipped with 90-millimeter guns, and as a result, the United Kingdom developed the 105-millimeter L7 gun. Known as the M68 in American service, integrating the gun into the Army’s tank fleet became a high priority.

7 August 2017

This Is How Europe Conquered Asia

By Franz-Stefan Gady 

In our tech-obsessed world, many tend to believe that military superiority is largely the product of superior military technology: The more advanced a country’s missile force, the more likely it is to prevail in a military confrontation in the 21st century. While this is certainly correct up to a point, we often tend to neglect a more mundane and less exciting component of guaranteeing a military force’s superiority over an adversary: military drills.

Today, we take intense close-order and extended-order (combat) drills in militaries across the world for granted. However, military drilling has been a relatively modern invention. First introduced by the ancient Romans in training their legionnaires, it was largely forgotten until the 16th century when it was rediscovered by Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange (1567-1625) who laid the foundations for modern routines of army drills.

Trying to beat the Spanish Empire in the Low Countries, Maurice introduced systematic drills on the basis of Roman precedents, endlessly forcing his soldiers to load and fire their matchlock muskets (42 separate, successive moves) in unison. Maurice also regularized marching, enabling his soldiers to maintain close-order formation even on the move. By keeping in step, his soldiers were able to advance simultaneously with every man ready to fire at the same time.