Issue Brief posted March 4, 2014
Russia, the West, and Ukraine: Time for a Strategy—Not Hope
On February 28, Russian troops, aided by pro-Russian local militia, began violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity by occupying important sites across the Crimean Peninsula. Under the pretext of “protecting Russian people,” the deployment of Russian troops into Crimea demonstrates a blatant disregard of Ukraine’s national sovereignty.
Russia’s anachronistic irredentist…
Backgrounder posted February 13, 2014
Self-Determination and National Security: Why the U.S. Should Back British Sovereignty over Gibraltar
The more than three-centuries-long dispute between Spain and the United Kingdom over the status of Gibraltar has been heating up again. The United States has interests at stake in the dispute. The U.S. benefits from its close relationship with Gibraltar as a British Overseas Territory in a way that would not be possible if Gibraltar was under the control of Spain. The…
Issue Brief posted February 13, 2014
U.S.–Baltic Military Cooperation in the Persian Gulf
The three Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—have contributed greatly to overseas military operations, especially Afghanistan, in recent years. Although they are small in size, the Baltic states demonstrate a willingness to contribute to NATO and the political will to deploy their militaries in a way notably absent across most of Europe.
A major concern of the…
Issue Brief posted December 5, 2013
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Pitfalls and Promises
The United States and the European Union (EU) have begun the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which could greatly reduce or eliminate both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade between the U.S. and the EU, a trade relationship that accounts for about 30 percent of world trade.
The promotion of economic freedom is a vital part of…
Issue Brief posted November 1, 2013
Steadfast Jazz 2013: U.S. Lackluster Contribution Undermines U.S. Interests in Eastern Europe
On November 2–9, NATO will conduct a military training exercise called Steadfast Jazz. The exercise will be held in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. According to NATO, the primary purpose of the exercise is to train and certify the NATO Response Force.
Many NATO partners view Steadfast Jazz as one of the most important NATO training events in recent memory. It is…
Backgrounder posted October 25, 2013
The Baltic States: Why the United States Must Strengthen Security Cooperation
The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have proven to be staunch American allies since they regained their independence in the early 1990s. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, each has made huge progress in implementing democracy, rule of law, economic freedom, and developing a strong national defense. They accomplished this by aligning themselves with…
Issue Brief posted October 7, 2013
2014 NATO Summit: Laying the Groundwork Now
It was recently announced that the 2014 NATO summit will be held in the United Kingdom. The last time the U.K. hosted the NATO summit was in 1990 when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and the Cold War was coming to a close. This will be a particularly important summit. The 2014 NATO summit will be the last summit before NATO ends its combat operations in Afghanistan,…
Issue Brief posted August 28, 2013
Priorities for President Obama’s Visit to Sweden
President Barack Obama will visit Sweden on September 4 en route to the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. The timing of this visit is important. The decision to visit Sweden was announced after the White House cancelled the U.S.–Russia summit, scheduled for September, due to a lack of progress in the U.S.–Russia bilateral relationship. Also, like his meeting at the…
Issue Brief posted August 21, 2013
U.S.–Baltic Relations: Laying the Groundwork for Deeper Cooperation
President Barack Obama will host Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Latvian President Andris Bērziņš, and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė at the White House on August 30. This is the first such meeting at the White House since 1998. The four heads of state are expected to discuss a broad range of issues including regional security cooperation, energy…
Issue Brief posted August 6, 2013
U.S. Should Condemn Spain’s Bullying Tactics over Gibraltar
Spain’s recent antagonistic behavior toward Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory on the Iberian Peninsula, for recently constructing an artificial reef inside the limits of its territorial waters is unbecoming of a NATO ally in 21st-century Europe.
Gibraltar has been under the sovereign control of the United Kingdom for 300 years. However, Madrid has recently pursed a…
Issue Brief posted July 23, 2013
Mi-17 Helicopters: The Best Choice for the Afghan Air Force and the U.S. Taxpayer
As part of an ongoing process to ensure that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are ready and capable to take over the lead for security in Afghanistan by 2015, the U.S. has agreed to purchase up to 86 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters for future service in the Afghan Air Force (AAF).
Many on Capitol Hill are questioning why the Department of Defense is buying…
Lecture posted July 15, 2013
The Future of U.S. Bases in Europe: A View from America
I would first like to thank James Corum and his team here at the Baltic Defense College for putting together this interesting panel and for inviting me to speak here today. It is an honor to be able to address such an esteemed audience on an issue that is of such importance: the future of U.S. forces in Europe.
This is an issue that often gets overlooked in the larger…
Backgrounder posted June 6, 2013
EU Defense Integration: Undermining NATO, Transatlantic Relations, and Europe’s Security
When it comes to defense and military capability in the 21st century, it is clear that Europe is not pulling its weight. Spending and investment in defense across Europe has steadily declined since the end of the Cold War. The political will to deploy troops into harm’s way when it is in the national interest has all but evaporated for most EU countries. During the recent…
Issue Brief posted June 5, 2013
The U.S. Should Back Montenegro’s NATO Membership
Montenegro, a small but geopolitically important Balkan nation, has made steady progress in its path toward NATO membership since it formally began a Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2009. As one of the four official NATO-aspirant countries and currently in the third cycle of the MAP, Montenegro has made and continues to make significant reforms that are essential for NATO…
Issue Brief posted May 23, 2013
Withdrawing U.S. Forces from Europe Weakens America
In the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, the House of Representatives passed an amendment that called for the removal of all four U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) currently based in Europe. It is likely that a similar amendment will be considered in the upcoming FY 2014 NDAA.
The sponsors of the amendment, Representatives Mike…