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  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted September 29, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Daniel Kochis The Baltic States: The United States Must Be Prepared to Fulfill Its NATO Treaty Obligations

    U.S. interest in the Baltic states derives primarily from its treaty obligations in the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty and membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty states that an attack on one is an attack on all. This means that the U.S. is committed to the security of the Baltic cities of Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius…

  • Issue Brief posted September 10, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. U.S. Should Condemn Spain’s Military Support to the Russian Navy

    As Russia continues its occupation of Crimea and sections of eastern Ukraine, some European countries continue to provide Russia with military support. Most notable among these is Spain, which allows the Russian Navy regular use of Spanish ports. In total, at least 20 Russian Navy vessels have visited Spain to refuel and resupply since Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in…

  • Issue Brief posted August 17, 2015 by Daniel Kochis Poland: The Lynchpin of Security on NATO’s Front Lines

    While Moscow’s aggressive actions have changed the way many in NATO view the threat posed by Russia, NATO’s eastern members have long considered Russia an existential threat and have planned accordingly. Poland, because of its large size, geographic location, and historical experience has become the lynchpin of security in Eastern Europe since joining NATO in 1999. The…

  • Issue Brief posted August 14, 2015 by Luke Coffey The Perfect Opportunity to Advance the U.S.–Georgian Defense Relationship

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will meet with his Georgian counterpart, Tinatin Khidasheli, the week of August 17. Having recently been appointed as defense minister (and the first female defense minister in Georgia’s history), this will be Khidasheli’s first meeting at the Pentagon in her new role. Georgia has been a steadfast ally of the United States, and…

  • 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…

  • First Principles Series Report posted June 2, 2015 by Justin D. Lyons Champion of Liberty: Winston Churchill and His Message to America

    2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston S. Churchill. Dwight D. Eisenhower, fortified by memories of long association and collaboration with Churchill through cataclysmic events, wrote a remembrance for National Geographic: “When Sir Winston Churchill died on January 24, 1965, full of years and honors, the entire world quickened with emotions of grief…

  • Issue Brief posted February 12, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. The United States Must Be Ready to Send Weapons to Ukraine

    As Russian-backed forces make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, and as a ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk, Belarus, between Kyiv and Moscow, there is intense debate in Washington about whether to send weapons to the Ukrainian military. There is no reason to believe that the ceasefire agreement will last when many such agreements have failed in the past. At…

  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2015 by Luke Coffey, Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Top Five Policy Priorities for Europe in 2015

    The United States faces mounting challenges in Europe in 2015. Russia is on the march in Ukraine, many of America’s oldest allies question its commitment to transatlantic security, and the economies of Europe have still not fully recovered from the Euro crisis. In addition, the specter of Islamist terrorism has raised its ugly head again in Europe, with the brutal slaying…

  • 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 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…