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  • Issue Brief posted August 17, 2015 by Daniel Kochis Poland: The Lynchpin of Security on NATO’s Front Lines

    While Moscow’s aggressive actions have changed the way many in NATO view the threat posed by Russia, NATO’s eastern members have long considered Russia an existential threat and have planned accordingly. Poland, because of its large size, geographic location, and historical experience has become the lynchpin of security in Eastern Europe since joining NATO in 1999. The…

  • Commentary posted June 25, 2015 by Daniel Kochis Terror in the Happiest Place on Earth

    The Nordic region may be the happiest place on Earth. Of the 10 top-ranked countries in the World Happiness Report, half are Nordic nations. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark rank third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in The Economist's "Where to be born index," with Finland not far behind. But beneath the picture of bliss lurks a malicious and difficult societal problem: An…

  • Backgrounder posted April 1, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Steven Groves, Daniel Kochis, Brian Slattery True North: Economic Freedom and Sovereignty Must Be at the Heart of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council

    The United States takes over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Canada on April 24 during the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada.[1] Holding the chairmanship offers the U.S. an opportunity to shape the policy agenda in the region. The U.S. should focus its chairmanship on establishing achievable goals. To this end, the U.S. should…

  • Commentary posted March 16, 2015 by Daniel Kochis Take Putin's World Cup Away

    The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi turned the eyes of the world on Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Moscow's preparations for the invasion of Ukraine, which would begin three weeks later., were still hidden out sight. As the cameras followed every twist and turn of the bobsleds, every pike and puck of the freestyle skiers, Russian spetsnaz were secretly preparing…

  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Addressing Russia’s Continued Pernicious Actions Abroad

    Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea and its continued aggression against Ukraine are proof of what many already knew, the failed “Russian reset” policy is dead, and Russia’s actions continue to destabilize its neighborhood. In place of the reset, the U.S. needs to implement a comprehensive long-term strategy for addressing a revanchist Russia. To highlight the…

  • Issue Brief posted December 2, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Provocations in the Nordic-Baltic States: The U.S. Needs a Strategy to Support the Region

    Russia’s aggressive posture against its neighbors has a profound impact on U.S. allies in the Nordic and Baltic region. The Baltic states are on NATO’s front line, and view Russia as an existential threat. Nordic states, especially non-NATO members Finland and Sweden, have felt Russian pressure this year. Lately, three issues have kept tensions running high in the region:…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The U.S. Needs a Strategy

    In November 2013, the former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, postponed signing an Association Agreement with the European Union after receiving an ultimatum from Moscow to choose between closer ties with Europe or Russia. One year later, Yanukovych is out, a pro-Western government is in power, Russia has illegally annexed the Crimea, and the Ukrainian oblasts of…

  • Commentary posted November 7, 2014 by Daniel Kochis Where's the Site of Russia's Next Land Grab? Hint: It's in the Arctic

    Russia is poised to make another land grab.  This time it’s an island.  But don’t get too alarmed.  The island’s in the Arctic.  No one lives there. And it may not even be an island at all. But that hasn’t kept the Moscow media from trumpeting the discovery of a new “island,” which Russia is now claiming as its own.   The small piece of land lies north of Siberia in the…

  • Issue Brief posted October 21, 2014 by Daniel Kochis Countering Russian Propaganda Abroad

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted a Russian foreign policy approach that integrates raw military strength with a myriad of soft power tools to pressure adversaries. A key element of Russian soft power is the use of state-sponsored media to influence foreign audiences. Russian propaganda, often masquerading as legitimate news, is disseminated through…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Daniel Kochis Back to the Future: Refocusing on Collective Defense is the Way Forward for NATO

    This week’s NATO summit in Wales marks a critical moment in the history of the organization that has served as the bedrock of transatlantic security for 65 years. Absent a menacing Soviet Union, what was founded as a collective security alliance has, in recent decades, increasingly involved itself with out-of-area operations. It’s time for NATO to get back to…

  • Issue Brief posted September 3, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis 2014 NATO Summit: Understanding the Key Issues

    The 2014 NATO summit will be held this week in Wales. The last time the United Kingdom hosted the NATO summit was in 1990, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, the Cold War was coming to a close, and the alliance was questioning its future role in the world. Today’s situation is not dissimilar. This will be the last summit before NATO ends its combat operations in…

  • Issue Brief posted August 26, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis Obama’s Trip to Estonia: The Right Visit at the Right Time

    In advance of the NATO summit on September 4–5 in Wales, President Obama will visit Tallinn, Estonia, to meet with leaders from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This visit is a welcome announcement. Up until the recent events in Ukraine, the importance of the Baltic region to NATO and the threat Russia posed to it was generally overlooked by the Obama Administration. The…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by Daniel Kochis We’re All in this Together: U.S. Allies Should Do More to Confront ISIS

    Make no mistake, ISIS’s methodical march of savagery across the Middle East threatens more than the religious and ethnic minorities caught in its path. The United States and its allies, especially those in the region, have every reason to be concerned about the human cost of allowing ISIS to roam freely. Any rational person must be disgusted by the cold-blooded murders…

  • Issue Brief posted August 21, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2014: Time to Make Up for Lost Ground in the Arctic

    The 2014 NATO summit will be held in September 2014 in Wales. As NATO’s combat mission comes to an end and Russia’s behavior becomes more aggressive this will be an important summit to define the future mission of the alliance. One area that has been largely ignored by the alliance is the Arctic. The U.S. should use the next summit to get the Arctic firmly on NATO’s…

  • Issue Brief posted August 19, 2014 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis NATO Summit 2014: Time for the Alliance to Get Back to Basics

    The 2014 NATO summit will be held in September in Wales. The last time the United Kingdom hosted the NATO summit was in 1990, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, the Cold War was coming to a close, and the alliance was questioning its future role in the world. Today’s situation is not dissimilar. This will be the last summit before NATO ends its combat operations…