Posts published in Opinion

The surge of populists in the EU elections is being greatly exaggerated

By R. Daniel Kelemen on Friday, May 24, 2019

Farage, Le Pen, Salvini. The Holy Trinity of the Far Right movement in Europe are looking to cause a political earthquake this week with perhaps their best showing in the European elections ever. While polls have the major populist and nationalist parties on course for massive gains, is it realistic to think the European establishment will be dealt a hammer blow. “The prospects of a populist, Far Right takeover in…

Latvian partisans stay at home

By Vairis Godmanis on Friday, May 24, 2019

Most Latvians are not ready to resist the occupation authorities in case of war. This is evidenced by the results of a social research commissioned by the Latvian Ministry of Defence. The authorities are introducing a comprehensive defense system and preparing the population for guerrilla warfare. However, society is not ready to take up arms and provide armed resistance. According to the SKDS social research, 33.7% of respondents from Russian-speaking…

IISS Research: Europe cannot defend itself without U.S.

By Adomas Abromaitis on Thursday, May 23, 2019

International research institutes very often provide assessments which cause just a revolution in the thinking of ordinary people and even politicians. Such reports give impetus to decisive actions and revision of existing strategies and politics. One of such reports is “Defending Europe: scenario-based capability requirements for NATO’s European members” made by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). An independent open-source high-level assessment of how the defence of Europe, would…

Stop the nitpicking! This season of Game of Thrones is miraculous

By Luke Holland on Friday, May 17, 2019

Seeing the fury around The Bells baffles me. Are we watching the same show? Warning: this article contains spoilers. As King’s Landing burned, and characters whose lives we’ve been following since season one either fled the carnage or became permanent fixtures in it, the only hotter takes than the one Daenerys unleashed on her would-be subjects were those exploding across the internet. Some calmly listed inconsistencies. Others wailed about how…

US nuclear provocation in Europe is real

By Jonas Dringelis on Thursday, May 16, 2019

The militarization of Europe, especially the Baltic states, is taking place at an accelerated pace. The Baltic countries’ political elites are using the worsening confrontation between the West and Russia for their own purposes: the presence of U.S. and NATO troops on their territory benefits them economically. In turn, the Pentagon has no plans to stop there. According to a statement made on May 14 by the director of the…

Quality of Life in Latvia is not a priority

By Viktors Domburs on Thursday, May 16, 2019

Four presidents, 14 governments and eight Seimas have changed in Latvia over the past 20 years. The country joined the European Union and NATO, and then switched to the euro. But have Latvians become better off? Has their quality of life improved? Statistics shows that the general well-being of population remains very low. Political turbulence only worsens the situation. Thus, according to Numbeo.com portal, one of the largest databases on…

Is NATO military exercise the choice of the Baltics?

By Jonas Dringelis on Wednesday, May 15, 2019

International military exercises “Summer Shield 2019” officially began this week in Latvia. The exercises will take place from May 13 to 25, reported mil.lv. Around 1,000 NATO soldiers  from Albania, the Czech Republic, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, the U.S. and Germany are taking part in the exercises. The Summer Shield exercises are held to improve cooperation and compatibility of units, procedures for the management of air and…

White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran

By Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said. The revisions were ordered by hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. They do not call for a…

Why U.S. is silent about exercises in Baltics

By Viktors Domburs on Friday, May 10, 2019

The Baltic States are in the anticipation of the annual large scale military exercise Saber Strike. The well-known annual international exercise held since 2010 by the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) is focused on the Baltic States. These countries consider this event as a key element of participants’ training on command and control as well as interoperability with regional partners. The Saber Strike exercise aims to facilitate cooperation amongst the…

Does Germany want to get rid of NATO?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Is NATO dying? Walter Russel Mead, leading columnist of the Wall Street Journal, says yes. His opinion is based on the decision of the German government to keep defence spending as low as 1.25% of gross domestic product (GDP) for the next five years. This decision is not at all driven by fiscal urgency. Germany is expected to have a balanced budget after many years with an annual surplus. It…