December 1, 2017 - Małgosia Krakowska
Some 25 years ago, warfare and international security were understood more or less solely through the lens of military features. The changing nature of threats to security has determined a change in the way security is perceived, encompassing today threats from a variety of sectors such as political, economic, societal, militarily or environmental. Although not new, hybrid threats pose one of the biggest risks in the contemporary security and political environment since they comprise a mixture of means (i.e. technological, financial, diplomatic, legal, economic and military) intended to exploit weaknesses and undermine governments, government agencies and the democratic process hinder the decision making process.
August 21, 2017 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska
Kaliningrad Oblast – Russia`s westernmost region physically separated from the mainland – has reappeared in the forefront of international security-related discourse. Liberated from virtually complete isolation with the fall of the Soviet Union, this territory was hoped to soon turn into a prosperous “bridge of co-operation” between Russia and the West.
August 2, 2017 - Sergey Sukhankin
It is no surprise that the international community has become more preoccupied with the diplomatic relations between Estonia and Russia. While interest in the country’s political affairs is not particularly new, the increasing tensions between the Baltic states and Russia continue to alarm those who fear the possibility of conflict.
June 12, 2017 - Silviu Kondan
President Donald Trump’s NATO policy is confusing. Regardless of the administration’s evolving National Security Strategy, United States’ role in Europe is in transition. Trump’s March 17th meeting with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated his America First emphasis at home, and an insistence that other NATO members “pay their fair share” abroad. A picture a "Perfect Storm" of Russian military resurgence, European Union instability skating on thin politico-economic ice and a 20 trillion dollars US cold front. This Trans-Atlantic ice age is capable of putting the freeze on any potential “warming” of the Alliance’s regional security efforts. To make the move from a more measured Western European Allied Assurance (2014 Wales Summit) to greater Russian Deterrence (2016 Warsaw Summit) NATO will require greater operational funding. With "Great Recession" contagion and an anaemic economic growth the question we should be asking is whether NATO can afford another Cold War. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Yet the cold, hard truth comes down to cold, hard cash.
April 18, 2017 - Scott Carlson
Georgia is among those few former Soviet countries that fought for independence. The euphoric sense of freedom in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, however, started to slip away soon as the disturbing reality of the Soviet legacy took over before Georgians’ eyes. Living for nearly 70 years under the Russian yoke had completely incapacitated their ability to self-govern. Inexperienced in how to build up state institutions from scratch in a way which would safeguard the inclusivity and diversity of their traditionally heterogeneous society, Georgians became embroiled in a string of ethnic and civil wars throughout the 1990s. The initial attempt to embrace freedom of expression, market economy and other western values, so alien to the Soviet system, backfired as Georgia slowly descended into poverty and chaos.
March 16, 2017 - Shalva Dzidziguri
“We are living in the days where what we call liberal non-democracy – in which we lived for the past 20 years – ends, and we can return to real democracy,” said Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary, when congratulating Donald Trump on his victory in the United States presidential election.One hundred days have passed since the so-called “big bang”. While some are celebrating, the Left is mourning the defeat of liberalism and the countries that might be left without America’s support. However, it is the EU, not America, that faces the real crisis.
February 20, 2017 - Agne Dovydaityte
Considering the harsh realities of international politics, the Warsaw Summit has constituted a success of Georgia’s foreign policy. Georgia, as it has been widely expected, has not been invited to join the Membership Action Plan. Although, each post-Bucharest NATO Summit, like the messenger boy in Godot, reminds us that NATO membership ‘will not come this evening but surely tomorrow’. Despite this, Georgia should realise that steadily waiting for Godot is the only way to ensure that Godot arrives.
July 21, 2016 - Irakli Sirbiladze
If you arrive in Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia – by plane, before you get to the city centre from the airport, you will have to drive along the George W. Bush highway. The former US President remains highly popular, especially with western minded Georgians, not least because of his staunch support for the democratic transition of the former Soviet country – and especially for his efforts to make Georgia a member of NATO. It was Bush who tried to convince his European counterparts in 2008 to grant Georgia a membership action plan (MAP) together with Ukraine, which would have put both countries officially on track to joining the military alliance. But due to resistance from France and Germany all he got was the binding promise that “these countries would become members of NATO” in the future, noted in the final declaration of the summit.
July 14, 2016 - Shalva Dzidziguri
The 2016 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit will begin in Warsaw on July 8th. The meeting of NATO heads of state is expected to address issues which are seen as essential for Central and Eastern Europe’s security environment in view of Russia’s perceived aggressive posture in the region. Some of those issues will include eastward force deployment in CEE and the Baltics, propping up the anti-missile shield and the potential for the Alliance’s enlargement.
July 8, 2016 - Kamen Kraev
In the 19th century a system of fortifications was built around Königsberg (today’s Kaliningrad), the capital of East Prussia, with the aim of making the city impenetrable. This is how the “fortress city” came into being. However, the surrounding net of forts, bastions and barracks did not manage to defend the city during the Second World War. Faced by new military technology, the 19th-century fortifications proved to be of little use. After the Second World War, the part of East Prussia with the capital fell in the hands of Stalin. After considering several different options, including the incorporation of the territory into Polish People’s Republic or Soviet Lithuania, the leadership of the Soviet Union decided to separate the fragment of East Prussia with Kaliningrad and turn it into a closed military zone. This is how the Kaliningrad Oblast was created, becoming the strategic westernmost bridgehead of the USSR.
July 7, 2016 - Paulina Siegień