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  • Issue Brief posted June 24, 2016 by Luke Coffey NATO Summit 2016: Why the Alliance Cannot Afford to Ignore Turkey

    With a focus on Russia’s actions in the Baltic region and Eastern Europe, the July NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, offers an opportunity for NATO to re-focus on another area of recent Russian saber rattling, along Turkey’s borders. NATO needs to agree to a strategy that ensures that its southeastern flank remains secure and recognizes the vital role that Turkey plays for…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted June 17, 2016 by Michaela Dodge, John Venable Why the United States Needs an LRSO Capability

    The debate over the Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) weapon continues to heat up both in Congress and within the nuclear weapons community. The LRSO is an essential component of a credible future U.S. nuclear and conventional deterrent force. Having it in the nation’s arsenal will increase the security of the United States and that of its allies. The Air-Launched Cruise…

  • 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 June 14, 2016 by Luke Coffey NATO Summit 2016: Keeping Georgia on the Membership Track

    The early July NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, offers an opportunity for the alliance to thank Georgia for its contribution in Afghanistan, congratulate Georgia on its military reforms, and lay the groundwork for deeper cooperation paving the way to eventual membership. The U.S. should continue to support Georgia’s NATO aspirations and ensure that the summit delivers a…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted April 22, 2016 by Peter Brookes Russia Exercises Need for Speed

    Will someone please call the Kremlin ASAP and ask them to remove all copies of the movie “Top Gunski” from the ready rooms of Russia’s fighter pilots? Their aerial acrobatics are dangerously out of control. Not only is somebody going to get killed unnecessarily, but the jet jocks’ capers could easily precipitate an international crisis — or worse — between two of the…

  • 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,…

  • Commentary posted April 5, 2016 by Peter Brookes Russian 'Reset' a Resounding Failure

    News that the United States is sending combat troops back to Europe beginning next February to deter potential Russian aggression against NATO pretty much takes Team Obama’s Russian “reset” policy off life support, doesn’t it? I’d like to say “RIP,” but I’m more of the mind to say, “Good riddance.” It all started so hopefully in 2009 with then-Secretary of State…

  • Backgrounder posted March 28, 2016 by Justin T. Johnson, Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Dean Cheng, Luke Coffey, Lisa Curtis, Michaela Dodge, David Inserra, Bruce Klingner, Walter Lohman, James Phillips, Ana Quintana, Bryan Riley, Brian Slattery, Charles "Cully" Stimson, Dakota Wood, Rachel Zissimos The 2017 NDAA Should Begin Rebuilding America’s Military

    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an annual bill that sets policies and budgets for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). This bill and the defense appropriations bill are Congress’s two annual major pieces of defense legislation. With the release of the Obama Administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request, Congress has begun working on the NDAA.…

  • Commentary posted February 29, 2016 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. For Putin, All Pieces Are in Place

    The last few months of 2008 were among the most important in recent history. They saw the tail end of a tired presidency, the Russians on the warpath in Georgia, and a long-approaching economic crisis about to reach its climax. The last few months of 2016 may repeat the pattern. Start with Russia. Over the last few weeks, I have met with a number of Eastern European and…