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  • Issue Brief posted December 16, 2014 by Luke Coffey Russian Military Activity in the Arctic: A Cause for Concern

    While the West has primarily been focused on Russia’s recent actions in eastern Europe, Moscow has continued with its plans to militarize the Arctic. Russia’s strategic goals in the Arctic are to secure current and potential energy resources located in the region and to maintain military superiority above the Arctic Circle. Although the threat of armed conflict among the…

  • 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 9, 2014 by Luke Coffey The U.S. Must Counter Russian Influence in the Balkans

    The Balkans region continues to be an area of instability in Europe. Although security in the region has improved dramatically since the 1990s, sectarian divisions remain and have been exacerbated by sluggish economies, high unemployment rates, and endemic political corruption. Moscow has exploited these tensions in an effort to advance a pro-Russia agenda with the goal…

  • 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 Russia and the South Caucasus: A Situation the U.S. Cannot Ignore

    While the U.S. and NATO are focused on Russian activity in Central and Eastern Europe, there are three developments in the South Caucasus that merit closer attention: (1) recent political instability in Georgia; (2) possible Russian annexation of Georgian breakaway territories; and (3) increasing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted November 26, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Dakota Wood, James Phillips, Luke Coffey National Security Priorities for the Next Secretary of Defense

    President Barack Obama is replacing his Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. Hagel was the third Secretary of Defense to serve under President Obama, following Robert Gates and Leon Panetta. The announcement of Hagel’s resignation, reportedly under pressure from the White House, was not accompanied by mention of a successor, who must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Hagel…

  • Backgrounder posted September 17, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Luke Coffey The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): The Geopolitical Reality

    In his February 2013 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama called for a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union. This proposed agreement is now known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The President’s announcement has been taken by politicians and commentators on both sides of the Atlantic as an effort…

  • Backgrounder posted September 17, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Bryan Riley The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Economic Benefits and Potential Risks

    In February 2013, President Barack Obama called for a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union during his State of the Union address. This proposed agreement is now known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The President’s announcement has been taken by politicians and commentators on both sides of the Atlantic as an…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Luke Coffey Keep Georgia on the Path to NATO

    In 1738, the Persian ruler Nadir Shah captured Kandahar. He then prepared to march his vast army, including a contingent of Georgian warriors, deep into India to take on the Mughal Empire. On its way to Sindh, in modern day Pakistan, the army encountered a column bearing an inscription that foretold death to those who went beyond it. A young Georgian prince named Erekle…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Luke Coffey U.S. must help usher Macedonia into NATO over Greek objections

    On a visit to Afghanistan a few years ago, I flew into Kabul International Airport. Upon leaving the facility, I saw smart-looking soldiers standing guard at the entrance to the military side of the airstrip. The Macedonian flag was displayed proudly on their shoulders. It occurred to me that the last time Macedonian soldiers served in Afghanistan, they were under the…

  • 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 28, 2014 by Luke Coffey NATO Summit 2014: U.S. Should Support Macedonia

    On June 25, outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that there would be no enlargement at the next NATO summit in Wales in September 2014. This announcement was a huge disappointment for the Republic of Macedonia, which has met all criteria to join the alliance but continuously has its application vetoed by Greece over a name dispute. Macedonia…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted August 21, 2014 by Luke Coffey NATO Summit 2014: Stay Committed to Afghanistan

    The 2014 NATO summit will be held in September in Wales. It will be the last summit before NATO ends its combat operations in Afghanistan and begins its Resolute Support mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The two most important issues at the summit regarding Afghanistan will be the financial funding for and size of the ANSF…