Posts published in Opinion

Baltics cannot rely on Germany anymore

By Adomas Abromaitis on Monday, March 18, 2019

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel. In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their…

Interview: NATO commander on challenges of role in Estonia

By Giles Harris on Monday, March 18, 2019

Having already interviewed some of the personnel from the 1 YORKS battle group, the third such battle group to form, together with its NATO allies, the core of the alliance’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP), it made sense to catch up with the commander of the eFP, Col Giles Harris, formerly of the Welsh Guards. I was very privileged to be able to do just that, at the Estonian Defence Forces…

Planning for a US base in Poland gains momentum

By John Vandiver on Saturday, March 16, 2019

Discussions about a permanent U.S. military base in Poland are moving forward, with a top Pentagon official arriving in Warsaw this week to hammer out details on expanding the American military presence in the country, officials said. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood is meeting with his Polish counterparts to work on the plan, a top Pentagon official told lawmakers Wednesday. While it could take about six months…

Ukraine Elections: Too Close To Call – Analysis

By Sergei Souglobine on Saturday, March 16, 2019

On March 31, Ukraine will be going to polls to elect a head of state for a new five-year term. For a country where presidents traditionally perform real rather than formal or symbolic functions, the importance of such an election is always hard to overestimate. But the upcoming race looks particularly crucial. At stake is the fate of the current pro-western political administration brought about by the 2014 revolution and,…

Baltics manipulate NATO finances to their advantage

By Viktors Domburs on Thursday, March 14, 2019

Three NATO member states – Denmark, Estonia and Latvia – are sure that they have made an important step towards the strengthening their security. On March 8 defence ministers of these countries opened the headquarters of Multinational Division North (MND N) in Latvia’s Adazi. It is known that during the NATO summit of July 11-12, 2018 in Brussels the letter of intent to create Multi-National Division North (MND North), a…

Interview: British soldiers with NATO Battle Group reflect on job well done

By Andrew Whyte on Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Estonia has been a NATO member since 2004, but only in recent years has any of that become more visible to most people. With US troops first arriving in 2014, the impetus grew after the 2016 Warsaw Summit’s decision to strengthen NATO’s eastern presence in the Baltic States and Poland. Within a space of time which might make Brexit negotiators, on both sides, hang their heads in shame, the Enhanced…

Ādaži Military Base is again in the centre of scandal

By Viktors Domburs on Monday, March 11, 2019

Residents of nearby villages express anger with what is going on in the soldier canteen on the Ādaži Military Base. One of the local employee in the interview for the Latvian TV channel said that sometimes the soldiers are given disposable tableware mainly made of plastic. She considers it not only unaesthetic, but also it harms public health and the environment. Latvian journalists had coordinated the visit to the base…

Trump wants Germany, Japan and others to pay full cost plus a premium for US troops

By John Vandiver on Monday, March 11, 2019

President Donald Trump is pushing a plan that demands allies pick up the full cost of hosting US troops in their countries, plus a 50 percent premium for the privilege of American protection, according to a news report. Called “Cost Plus 50,” the plan would cost five or six times more for countries like Germany, Japan and South Korea, Bloomberg news reported Friday. Trump has been championing the idea for months,…

The Orientalism of Western Russophobia

By Max Parry on Saturday, March 9, 2019

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the publication of Edward W. Said’s pioneering book, Orientalism, as well as fifteen years since the Palestinian-American intellectual’s passing. To bid farewell to such an important scholar shortly after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, which Said fiercely criticized until his dying breath before succumbing to leukemia, made an already tremendous loss that much more impactful. His seminal text forever reoriented political discourse by…

Congress has new questions for Donald Trump Jr

By John Santucci on Friday, March 8, 2019

Congressional investigators are making plans to ask Donald Trump Jr. to return to Capitol Hill, in part, to ask why he told lawmakers under oath that he knew “very little” about a deal with Russian developers in 2016 to put the Trump brand on a skyscraper in Moscow, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News. Sworn testimony from the president’s eldest son appears to conflict with testimony from former Trump Organization attorney…