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  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2016 by Joshua Meservey Four U.S. Policy Priorities for Africa in 2016

    There were some positive developments for U.S. interests in Africa in 2015. Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation and boasting its largest economy, peacefully elected a new president. Congress reaffirmed the U.S.’s commitment to Tunisia, a fledgling democratic ally in the crosshairs of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The African Growth and Opportunity…

  • Commentary posted January 13, 2016 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Russia’s Insecurity Strategy

    Russia’s new National Security Strategy, signed by Vladimir Putin as last year came to a close, isn’t shy about naming its enemies. From the U.S. to the European Union, from NATO to the varying-colored revolutions, Russia sees foes everywhere.   That’s understandable: the treacherous are always distrustful. But the strategy’s biggest surprise is that it shows Russia has…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted December 21, 2015 by Mark B. Schneider Nuclear Deterrence in the Context of the European Security Crisis and Beyond

    Legacy Soviet attitudes toward the West have always shaped Russian foreign and defense policy. Vladimir Putin replaced Boris Yeltsin’s stance that Russia had no enemies with the rather paranoid view that the U.S., NATO, and Japan are Russia’s enemies and that the U.S. is seeking the destruction of Russia.[1] Putin has characterized the collapse of the Soviet Union as “the…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted December 8, 2015 by Roger Scruton The Future of European Civilization: Lessons for America

    In a gloomy but strangely enthralling book published at the end of the First World War, the historian and polymath Oswald Spengler wrote of the decline of the West, arguing that Europe was moving inevitably to its end according to a pattern that can be observed among civilizations from the beginning of recorded history. Each historical superorganism, he argued, displays…

  • Commentary posted November 24, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Russia wants to manipulate Western nations: Will Obama take the bait?

    Turkey’s downing of a Russian aircraft that had crossed into its airspace and refused to depart after numerous warnings is sad, but not unexpected. Most people thought it would turn out to be an accident of the overcrowded and ill-managed airspace over Syria, but this appears to be something else. This looks to be a deliberate provocation on the part of the Russians.…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Russia's Economy: What Do the Numbers Tell Us?

    Before the Bolshevik revolution, Vladimir Lenin supposedly said “the worse the better.” Essentially what he meant was that the more conditions deteriorated under the Russian czar (and in its aftermath) the more likely the Bolsheviks would obtain power. In this, Lenin was quite prescient. Today, the Russian economy has fallen into a “worse” phase. The collapse in oil…

  • Commentary posted October 1, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Countering, not cooperating with Putin, should be order of the day

    The Kremlin is not our friend. Nor is Moscow a 10-foot tall threat to our national interests. What America needs is a middling foreign policy that looks to marginalize Russia's capacity to mess with us. And there is no better place to start this approach than in Syria. Putin has made a muscular move to support besieged Syrian strongman Bashar Assad. It came after…

  • Commentary posted October 1, 2015 by Peter Brookes Brookes: Putin plays O for patsy in Syria

    When President Obama said at the United Nations on Tuesday that “ ... defeating ISIL requires — I believe — a new leader,” I thought for a brief moment I’d finally found something on which he and I could agree. Then I realized he wasn’t talking about his own leadership. The president was actually talking about the regime of Bashar Assad, the Syrian dictator Team…

  • Backgrounder posted July 30, 2015 by Michaela Dodge Russian Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces: What They Mean for the United States

    The 1987 Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles—known as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty—was one of the most significant arms-reduction accomplishments of the Cold War era. The INF Treaty led to the elimination of ground-launched…

  • Testimony posted April 15, 2015 by Helle C. Dale Russia’s “Weaponization” of Information

    Testimony Presented to the House Foreign Affairs Committee April 15, 2015 Helle C. Dale My name is Helle Dale. I am Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy in the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any…

  • Commentary posted April 9, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. How the Next President Should Deal with Russia

    Usually, domestic issues are front-and-center in presidential campaigns. Not so this year. From Islamist terror in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to the growing Iranian nuclear threat, foreign and national-security policy is the hot topic among White House aspirants. That’s not a bad thing. The next leader of the free world must be able to powerfully project and…

  • Commentary posted March 19, 2015 by Peter Brookes Putin pushes envelope in Arctic

    If there is one thing you can say about Russian President Vladimir Putin, it’s that while he’s not always straightforward about his whereabouts (for 10 days), he’s straightforward about geopolitics. Indeed, about a year after carving Crimea from Kiev, Moscow is making waves in the ice floes at the top of the world in the Arctic with massive military maneuvers. Putin’s…