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Author: Wojciech Michnik

Poland as a new frontline state

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine not only wreaked havoc on Ukrainian society but also damaged the regional security architecture of Central and Eastern Europe. For Poland and other states on the Eastern Flank of NATO, it instantly meant that they had all become de facto frontline states.

February 24th marked the end of the world order as we know it when Russian tanks rolled into Ukrainian territory and Russian missiles started to target Ukrainian civilian and military infrastructure. It is by no means an exaggeration to claim that the international security architecture that was shaped after the Second World War is now gone. From the regional perspective, the first day of the Russian aggression changed everything for both Ukraine and its neighbours. Many of these states have been pondering whether they would be next on Putin's list.

April 25, 2022 - Wojciech Michnik

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: a dramatic game-changer

The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the international security architecture. But we cannot say we did not see it coming, since the premises of Putin’s future actions could be noticed in both his previous statements and actions, and the West’s arrant dismissal of them. Now, with both NATO and EU standing closely behind Ukraine, we wonder how it was possible to let this happen, and where we are now.

March 3, 2022 - Łukasz Kamieński Maciej Smółka Wojciech Michnik

Is NATO’s 360-degree approach enough to keep focus on the Eastern flank?

Nowhere should NATO’s 360-degree approach to security be more vigilant than on the Alliance’s Eastern flank. It stems both from Russia’s aggressive behaviour towards NATO and from the size and geographical proximity of the Russian troops deployed near the member states’ borders. This does not mean that NATO should not look elsewhere for possible threats. It just means that at present the threat in the Eastern flank is the most formidable one.

June 22, 2021 - Wojciech Michnik

We need to talk about Russia, again

Russia's aggressive posturing continues to energise NATO. However, this does not mean that Ukraine and Europe are becoming more secure.

May 19, 2021 - Wojciech Michnik

A clash of narratives

In the clash of narratives between Russia and NATO states, Moscow has clearly gained an upper hand. Russian success stems not only from the fact that the Kremlin has been able to send a much clearer and more coherent message than the Alliance, but also because NATO states do not have one narrative, or counter-narrative.
One of the central concerns when analysing international security and its history is how to explain certain events and their impact on international politics. For policy-makers and societies it is crucial to define “who we are” and “what kind of world order we want”. The passing decade has been marked by a return to a crisis between the West and Russia (sometimes referred to as the New Cold War), with conflict over Russian aggression in Ukraine being the most striking example.

January 28, 2020 - Wojciech Michnik

Why NATO is not brain dead

After 70 years in the security and defence business, NATO is still the most successful alliance the world has ever seen, and still the only “kid on the block” able to defend Europe against the villains in its the neighbourhood.

November 12, 2019 - Wojciech Michnik

NATO at 70 – cheating death, one threat at a time?

Celebrating 70 years since its inception, many critics have claimed NATO is a relic of the past. Will NATO manage to adapt to the changing environment among its members and outside of it?

April 24, 2019 - Wojciech Michnik

Russia’s role in the Middle East – a grand plan or opportunism?

Russian military engagement in the Syrian war has been a big game changer. Whatever the tactical successes and failures, the sheer fact that Russian troops are present in Syria sends a clear message.

Since the start of the decade, Russia has been taking advantage of major security developments in the Middle East: the Arab Spring, including faltering regimes in Egypt and Libya; the United States’ light footprint approach, i.e. its withdrawal from Iraq and reliance on proxies in Syria and Yemen; and the growing tensions in the Gulf between Iran and the Sunni Arab states. The apex of Russia’s engagement arrived in 2015 when Moscow decided to provide militarily support for Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the Syrian war. Russian military intervention did not end in quagmire. Instead it empowered Assad’s forces to crush most of the rebelling groups, thus tipping the balance of power in Assad’s favour as per Russian objectives.

January 2, 2019 - Wojciech Michnik

One Down, Many to Go: Poland’s first ten years in the EU is just a beginning

A lot of ink has been spilled recently to sum up Poland’s ten years in the European Union. It would be almost impossible to add anything original to this discussion without being redundant or obvious. However two points should be made here that put things in perspective, delivering my take of the last decade of the Polish EU adventure.

May 19, 2014 - Wojciech Michnik

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