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  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted February 29, 2016 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis The U.S. Needs to Get Its Baltic Force Posture Right

    The U.S. has a long history of championing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Baltic states, dating back to the interwar period of the 1920s. Today, U.S. interest in the Baltic region derives primarily from its treaty obligations as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The U.S. needs an enduring presence and a long-term strategy to meet…

  • 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…