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  • 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”…

  • Issue Brief posted January 8, 2016 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Daniel Kochis Top Five Priorities for U.S. Policy Toward Europe in 2016

    U.S. policy toward Europe in 2015 failed to rise to the significant challenges that confront it. The U.S. is no closer to having a clear and comprehensive strategy to deal with Russia than it was a year ago; it continues to devalue key bilateral and multilateral relationships in Europe for the sake of supporting the European Union (EU); and it took no effective steps to…

  • Issue Brief posted January 8, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis, Brian Slattery Top Five U.S. Policy Priorities for the Arctic in 2016

    2016 will be an important and challenging year for the Arctic region. It marks the final year of the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. In July 2016, NATO will hold a major summit in Poland that offers an opportunity for the Alliance to focus on the Arctic. Russia is expected to invest heavily in the Arctic region even with the fall in crude oil prices. To ensure…

  • Special Report posted January 6, 2016 by Lisa Curtis, Luke Coffey, David Inserra, Daniel Kochis, Walter Lohman, Joshua Meservey, James Phillips, Robin Simcox Combatting the ISIS Foreign Fighter Pipeline: A Global Approach

    The Islamic State’s recent global terror campaign—including the October 31 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 224 and the November 13 shooting attacks in Paris that killed 130 restaurant patrons and concert-goers—has increased the urgency for the U.S. to lead a global alliance to defeat the Islamic State and its ideology. ISIS has also been able to establish a…

  • Special Report posted December 9, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Dean Cheng, Luke Coffey, Lisa Curtis, Helle C. Dale, Michaela Dodge, David Inserra, Bruce Klingner, Daniel Kochis, Ryan Olson, James Phillips, Ana Quintana, Bryan Riley, Brian Slattery, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. U.S. Comprehensive Strategy Toward Russia

    Introduction Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has not had a coherent, comprehensive strategy toward Russia. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrates, the U.S. has paid a price for this failure and, of course, many of Russia’s neighbors have paid far higher prices. At the core of the U.S. failure has been an unwillingness to assess the nature of the Russian…