Posts published in Opinion

Is Russia taking control of Syria’s air defences?

By Jonathan Marcus on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Russia has been talking about selling the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria for almost a decade. But it was never delivered; a product of Israeli diplomatic efforts and a certain indifference from Moscow towards Israel’s air campaign over Syria. Now, though, Russia seems to be signalling that its “neutrality” is over and that Israel’s air operations are seen as running counter to its strategic interests. Back in 2011 news…

Trump’s final days

By Jack Shafer on Monday, September 24, 2018

One day, whether next year, or in 2021, or in 2025, he’ll be asked to leave the White House. What if he won’t go? What if, after having moved into the White House and gotten comfortable, Donald Trump refuses to check out when his term ends? Preposterous, you say. No president, not even Trump, would dare to defy 200-plus years of political tradition — not to mention the constitution —…

Russia, Israel seek to defuse crisis over accidental downing of plane in Syria

By Wesley Dockery on Thursday, September 20, 2018

Russia and Israel are currently looking to strengthen cooperation in Syrian airspace after a tragic incident on Monday, when Syrian missile defense systems shot down a Russian plane, killing 15 Russian personnel on board. The event happened during a succession of Israeli airstrikes targeting alleged Iran-affiliated military installations in Syria. On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry accused the Israelis of using the Russian aircraft as cover, saying that it was a “deliberate provocation.”…

NATO Chief lists benefits of alliance to the security of the United States

By George Allison on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is as important to the United States as it is to Europe, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in the US last week. The NATO chief spoke at the Heritage Foundation following talks with US security officials. In his remarks, he stressed the importance of the nearly 70-year-old organisation to America. The alliance has guaranteed peace and stability in Europe since it was founded in…

Lithuania disagrees with Germany

By Viktors Domburs on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Lithuania last week. This country always was a reliable partner. Germany supported Lithuania on its way to the European Union and NATO. According to DW, today Germany is Lithuania’s third-largest foreign investor, with 500 of its companies providing over 17,000 jobs. This summer, Continental, one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers, started building a €95 million plant near Kaunas. It is set to create 1,000…

Five years after arrest, Navy bribery mastermind Leonard Francis testifies at deposition

By Greg Moran on Monday, September 17, 2018

Five years ago, investigators with the U.S. Navy knocked on the door of a San Diego hotel suite with a sweeping view of the city’s harbor, waiting for the 6-foot, 5-inch Malaysian businessman inside to answer — and in the process launch what has become the worst corruption scandal for the Navy in decades. Since the arrest of businessman Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis that day, federal prosecutors in San…

Vostok 2018: sending a powerful message to NATO and its partners

By Jacqueline Westermann on Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Russian Federation is undertaking the biggest military exercise in its history, Vostok 2018 (East 2018). These large exercises are held each year, focusing on one region in the country. Last year’s Zapad (West) war games caused concern among NATO members and other European countries that Russian troops were practising for a large-scale attack on them. Observers were also alarmed by the significant number of troops exercising on the territory…

Lithuania violates Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By Adomas Abromaitis on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

DELFI, which is the major Internet portal in the Baltic States providing daily news, stated on 10 September that the number of emigrants from Lithuania exceeds that of immigrants by 1,000 in August, writes Adomas Abromaitis. Shocking statistics shows that the country has registered a negative migration balance. Some 4,382 people left Lithuania in August. Thus, Lithuanians are leaving the country despite authorities’ claims on economic growth, stability and favorable perspectives. On…

Nazi Collaborator or National Hero? A Test for Lithuania

By Andrew Higgins on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

For the tiny village of Sukioniai in western Lithuania, the exploits of General Storm, a local anti-Communist hero executed by the Soviet secret police in 1947, have long been a source of pride. The village school is named after him, and his struggles against the Soviet Union are also honored with a memorial carved from stone next to the farm where he was born. All along, though, there have been…

US relationship with international court crashes under Trump

By Matthew Lee on Tuesday, September 11, 2018

America’s long-running reluctant relationship with the International Criminal Court came to a crashing halt on Monday as decades of U.S. suspicions about the tribunal and its global jurisdiction spilled into open hostility, amid threats of sanctions if it investigates U.S. troops in Afghanistan. National security adviser John Bolton denounced the legitimacy of The Hague-based court, which was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes and crimes of humanity and genocide…