Foreign policy & defence

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What Putin's return means for the former Soviet republics

What Putin's return means for the former Soviet republics

Jana Kobzova, Tomas Valasek
25 May 2012
Vladimir Putin's re-election as Russia's president, and his absence from recent summits of the G8 and NATO, indicate a hardening of Russian attitudes towards the West.
What does this imply for Russia's relations with the former Soviet republics in Europe and Central Asia? The EU and NATO have little interest in...
Smart but too cautious: How NATO can improve its fight against austerity

Smart but too cautious: How NATO can improve its fight against austerity

Claudia Major, Christian Mölling, Tomas Valasek
21 May 2012
European militaries remain wary of collaboration. NATO should give them incentives and address their fears.
NATO ponders austerity and US 'pivot'

NATO ponders austerity and US 'pivot'

Tomas Valasek
18 May 2012
The US sees itself as a Pacific power, and the Europeans are busy plundering their defence budgets. Does NATO have a future?
A new political bargain in Afghanistan

A new political bargain in Afghanistan

Edward Burke
26 March 2012
Reports by official US agencies, such as the Government Accountability Office, make it crystal clear: the Afghan government is stealing money from the international community and from the Afghan people, on an alarming scale. US and European officials in Kabul are dismayed but seem paralysed: their response is to vow...
Poland's U-turn on European defence: A missed opportunity?

Poland's U-turn on European defence: A missed opportunity?

Clara Marina O'Donnell
09 March 2012
In failing to respond to Poland's proposals on EU defence, European governments are missing an opportunity to improve Europe's ability to tackle military crises abroad.
All alone? What US retrenchment means for Europe and NATO

All alone? What US retrenchment means for Europe and NATO

François Heisbourg, Wolfgang Ischinger, George Robertson, Kori Schake, Tomas Valasek
01 March 2012
With the US reducing its role in NATO, the Europeans need to assume more military responsibility, and the alliance needs to narrow its ambitions.
Russia is not completely wrong about Syria

Russia is not completely wrong about Syria

Edward Burke
17 February 2012
The Kremlin may be playing realpolitik and taking pride in blocking the West in Syria, but it has drawn attention to some weaknesses in Western diplomacy.
Why France is leaving Afghanistan

Why France is leaving Afghanistan

Edward Burke
02 February 2012
France has sent a clear message by withdrawing its troops early from Afghanistan: NATO is failing to meet its objectives. The problem lies in Kabul not Paris.
The US declares peace in Europe, prematurely file thumbnail

The US declares peace in Europe, prematurely

Tomas Valasek
26 January 2012
The Pentagon's 'strategic guidance', released on January 5th, makes three key changes: it establishes Asia as the focus of US military efforts, with the Middle East a close second. It foresees fewer 'nation-building'
missions such as the one in Afghanistan, and more strikes from afar and from the air, sometimes...
The UK & EU foreign policy

What Europe's new diplomatic service can do for Britain

Edward Burke
10 January 2012
Following a recent agreement on EU foreign policy the UK should not miss an opportunity to use Europe's new diplomatic service to reinforce British interests.
Is Turkey our partner now?

Is Turkey our partner now?

Katinka Barysch
28 November 2011
Six years after the start of accession talks, the EU and Turkey are struggling to keep up a semblance of progress. Having opened talks on 13 chapters of EU law by mid- 2010, they have not started on a new one for over a year now. Most of the remaining...
Defence austerity

Governments need incentives to pool and share militaries

Tomas Valasek
01 November 2011
Military collaboration among EU countries makes economic sense, but governments will need additional incentives to overcome reservations about initial costs and erosion of national sovereignty.
Britain and France should not give up on EU defence co-operation

Britain and France should not give up on EU defence co-operation

Clara Marina O'Donnell
24 October 2011
Although EU defence efforts have delivered less than had been hoped, they have led to some welcome improvements in European military capabilities.
What Libya says about future NATO operations

What Libya says about future NATO operations

Tomas Valasek
26 August 2011
In Libya, the Europeans have for the first time responded to Washington's calls to assume responsibility for their neighbourhood. This should be cause for cautious optimism about NATO.
The US and the EU should support the Palestinian bid for UN membership

The US and the EU should support the Palestinian bid for UN membership

Clara Marina O'Donnell
25 August 2011
The US and the EU should support the Palestinian request for UN recognition. If framed constructively, the Palestinian initiative can strengthen the prospects for peace.
soldiers

Race to the bottom

Tomas Valasek
24 August 2011
For decades, European countries cut defence budgets with little worry. The United States kept enough troops on the continent to deter all potential enemies, almost irrespective of how small European militaries became.
Gadaffi

Britain draws the wrong lessons from Libya

Clara Marina O'Donnell
01 August 2011
When it comes to defence, the United Kingdom is giving up on the EU. For most Britons, the war in Libya has confirmed that the majority of European countries are simply not serious about defence.
What Libya says about the future of the transatlantic alliance

What Libya says about the future of the transatlantic alliance

Tomas Valasek
29 July 2011
Libya is the first war fought according to Barack Obama's rules, with the United States taking a back seat. The Europeans responded well: by taking decisive military action to maintain the stability of their neighbourhood.