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  • Issue Brief posted November 9, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Greece: Vital Messages Needed on Obama’s Final Trip to Europe

    The White House has announced a short-notice trip to Europe for November 15 to 18. President Barack Obama will start the trip in Greece, where he will meet with President Prokopios Pavlopoulo and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras before traveling on to Germany. Greece, a NATO member since 1952, hosts an important U.S. naval base at Souda Bay on the island of Crete. In the…

  • Issue Brief posted November 9, 2016 by Daniel Kochis, Robin Simcox President Obama Should Push for Greater Transatlantic Security During Berlin Visit

    President Obama will travel to Europe from November 15–18, starting in Greece before traveling to Germany. In his sixth visit to Germany, Obama will meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as the leaders of France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Germany is an important security partner of the United States and the largest economy in Europe. Because decisions made by…

  • Issue Brief posted July 7, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis, Lisa Curtis Eight Essential Issues for the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw

    The 2016 NATO Summit will be held on July 8 and 9 in Warsaw. This is a critical time for the Alliance. In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine, forcefully changing the borders of Europe for the first time since 1945. This invasion jarred many in Western Europe and the U.S. who had viewed Russia through rose-colored glasses even after the invasion of Georgia in 2008. Today,…

  • Issue Brief posted July 5, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2016: The Alliance Must Deepen the NATO–Ukraine Partnership

    The upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw is an opportunity for the alliance to provide realistic and meaningful support to Ukraine. It has been over 28 months since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since that time, Russia has annexed Crimea, consolidated its position in the Black Sea, and created a frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s invasion has cost 10,000 lives and…

  • Issue Brief posted June 22, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2016: The Alliance Must Defend the Baltic States

    The July NATO summit in Warsaw offers an opportunity to focus on one of the most complex regions the alliance is obligated to defend: the Baltic States. NATO should think strategically and take long-term measures that include the eventual permanent basing of troops in the region, the establishment of a Baltic Air Defense mission, and a commitment to regular training…

  • Backgrounder posted June 21, 2016 by Daniel Kochis, Brian Slattery Iceland: Outsized Importance for Transatlantic Security

    The United States is a global power with global interests. These interests include ensuring that the sea lanes of the North Atlantic remain open to the flow of commerce and information, and that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remains a bulwark that ensures peace and security for its member states. Iceland, one of the 12 original NATO members, has been an…

  • Issue Brief posted June 17, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2016: NATO Must Reaffirm Its “Open Door” Policy

    NATO has underpinned Europe and North America’s security for more than 67 years, so it is no surprise that many countries in the transatlantic region that are not already members want to join the alliance. NATO’s “open door” policy is critical to mobilizing Europe and its allies around a collective transatlantic defense. The U.S. should use the 2016 Warsaw summit in early…

  • Issue Brief posted June 16, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2016: Time for an Arctic Strategy

    The upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, offers an opportunity for the alliance to finally focus on a region it has long ignored: the Arctic. Economic, oil and gas, and shipping opportunities are increasing in the region—as are Russian military capabilities. Even so, NATO does not have an agreed Arctic strategy. The U.S. should use the July summit to place the Arctic…

  • Issue Brief posted June 15, 2016 by Daniel Kochis, Luke Coffey NATO Summit 2016: Alliance Members Must Commit to Increased Defense Spending

    The July NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, offers an opportunity for the alliance to build on commitments of the 2014 summit in Wales regarding defense spending and increased military capability. As an ally that has prioritized defense spending, Poland is a fitting host for the 2016 NATO summit. The U.S. should reverse its own defense cuts and find creative ways to press its…

  • Issue Brief posted April 29, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis The 1997 NATO–Russia Founding Act Does Not Prohibit Permanent NATO Bases in Eastern Europe

    It is widely believed that in 1997, NATO promised Russia that it would not establish permanent military bases in any former Warsaw Pact countries that might someday become NATO members. This is in fact a myth that has been perpetuated by the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, as well as by the lack of diligent research and basic knowledge among commentators, politicians, and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 28, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis The Role of Sweden and Finland in NATO’s Defense of the Baltic States

    Militarily speaking, the three Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—are isolated from other NATO members. It would be extremely difficult, but not impossible, for NATO to respond to an incident in the Baltic region without the acquiescence of non-NATO Finland and Sweden. Russia knows this—and exploits this weakness to its advantage. The U.S. must plan for any…

  • Issue Brief posted April 22, 2016 by Daniel Kochis Four Priorities for President Obama’s Last Visit to Germany

    President Obama is visiting Germany on April 24 and April 25. He will help open the Hannover Messe, a famous industrial trade fair, alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday. On Monday, the leaders of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States will meet to discuss the migrant crisis and terrorism. Germany is an important security partner of the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis A Pivotal Time for Ukraine: The U.S. Should Redouble Its Support

    Two years after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbas region, Ukraine remains a nation in peril. Russia considers its annexation of Crimea a fait accompli, has taken steps to consolidate its position in the Black Sea, and has created a frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine. Despite an official cease-fire, war is a day-to-day reality in the Donbas region,…

  • Issue Brief posted February 29, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis The U.S. Needs to Get Its Baltic Force Posture Right

    The U.S. has a long history of championing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Baltic states, dating back to the interwar period of the 1920s. Today, U.S. interest in the Baltic region derives primarily from its treaty obligations as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The U.S. needs an enduring presence and a long-term strategy to meet…

  • Commentary posted January 21, 2016 by Daniel Kochis Refocusing U.S. Arctic Policy in 2016

    The U.S. currently chairs the Arctic Council, the primary intergovernmental forum for addressing issues concerning the Arctic region, yet 68 percent of Americans have never even heard of it. Small wonder. U.S. Arctic policy, what little of it there is, is adrift. The President’s State of the Union address, all 5,437 words of it, didn’t mention the word “Arctic”…