Posts published in Opinion

Hypothetical War Scenario: Who Would Prevail, Iran or Israel?

Friday, May 25, 2018

The US and its close Mideast allies Israel and Saudi Arabia continue to exert pressure on Iran. Observers are mulling over the probability of a direct conflict between Tehran and Tel Aviv amid the latter’s increasingly assertive rhetoric towards the Islamic Republic. Following the reported exchange of strikes between Tehran and Tel Aviv over the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, the question arises as to whether the two Middle Eastern powers could…

There is No Unified EU Position on the Israeli-Palestinian Issue

By Oded Eran on Thursday, May 24, 2018

Israeli media has reported an unnamed EU official said Israel should not underestimate Europe. According to reports, the European official had stated that President Donald Trump’s presidency won’t be forever and may be scrapped. Sputnik discussed this with Oded Eran, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, Israel. Sputnik: What are your thoughts on the comments made by the EU official? Oded Eran: The EU official is not…

Turkey’s pipedreams and NATO’s nightmares

By Amelia Meurant-Tompkinson on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Turkey’s relationship with NATO is at a nadir. Following its recent incursion into Syria’s Afrin district against NATO-backed Kurdish forces, Ankara now finds itself at loggerheads with the United States and other NATO allies. More troubling, Turkey’s offensive wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Russia: the operation required Russian clearance for Turkish warplanes to enter Syria’s airspace, and Ankara would have heeded assurances from Russia that Syrian forces wouldn’t attempt to seize…

US units in the Baltic states make money for Trump

By Kovas Azbis on Monday, May 21, 2018

Preparing for the upcoming NATO summit in July, Baltic States Foreign Affairs ministers met with US President’s National Security Advisor John R. Bolton in Washington . They asked US to expand international NATO battalions with air and naval forces and to send Patriot missile systems to ensure Baltic air space defense. A month ago Donald Trump held his first Baltic Summit. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and…

NATO Must Adapt

By Petr Pavel on Thursday, May 17, 2018

The world situation is highly volatile, and NATO must be adaptable and constantly ready to respond to any threat or challenge, the chairman of the alliance’s Military Committee said here today. Gen. Petr Pavel of the Czech army told reporters that this week’s meeting of NATO’s chiefs of defense addresses the range of challenges from defense and deterrence to threats from the Middle East and North Africa. Pavel briefed alongside U.S. Army Gen. Curtis M.…

EU leaders unite against Trump

By David M. Herszenhorn on Thursday, May 17, 2018

EU leaders on Wednesday vowed that they would not be bullied by Donald Trump on the Iran nuclear accord or threatened steel tariffs. Over a nearly five-hour long dinner of meatballs and buffalo steak in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, the 28 leaders chewed over their tough, new reality of a U.S. president who acts unpredictably and often, it seems, more as a foe than as a historic ally with shared…

Russia’s Offshore ‘Missile Tests’: Psychologically Undermining the Economic Security of the Baltics

By Olevs Nikers on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

In the past two months, the Russian government twice warned Latvian authorities that it was planning to conduct missile tests over Latvia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Baltic Sea. Yet, in both cases (April 4–6 and April 17–19), Russia never actually shot off any live missiles during these “exercises” (Tvnet.lv, April 20; see EDM, May 2). This raises the question of what was the real purpose of Russia’s activities in…

Why the US-European Defense Umbrella is on the Brink of Folding Up

By Gevorg Mirzayan  on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Academic, journalist and political commentator Gevorg Mirzayan explains why NATO’s Eastern flank, as well as the countries of the former Soviet space aspiring to join the Western alliance, are being set up have their security and geopolitical ambitions thwarted. The past week has seen important statements by high-level EU officials on the subject of European defense. On Friday, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini declaredthat the world was in “a state of chaos,” with the “European way…

Who makes Expenses Plan for the Baltic States?

By Viktors Domburs on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Baltic states today are no more a clean sheet of paper waiting for somebody to write something on. During almost 30 years of independence from the USSR the authorities have been cleaning the countries from the Soviet-era’s hangover and are writing new history by themselves. And the results of their activity are various and often disputable. On the one hand the idea of gaining independence which was in the…

America after Trump

By E.J. Dionne Jr. on Monday, May 14, 2018

In the imaginations of his hopeful defenders, President Trump was supposed to transcend left and right. He’d break the Republican Party from the shibboleths of the Reagan Era and create a new ideology mindful of the interests of the party’s working-class supporters. Trump signaled this regularly. He touted a big infrastructure program. He insisted he would never cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. He said his health-care plan would be…