Posts published in Opinion

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…

How Russia’s Blunders Abroad Have Galvanized Europe

By William Courtney on Saturday, May 12, 2018

On the eve of his visit to Washington, French President Emmanuel Macron sent a strong signal to the Kremlin. He told Fox News, “We should never be weak with Russian President Vladimir Putin. When you are weak, he uses it.” But at its peril, the Kremlin often seems hard of hearing when it comes to listening to Europeans. Speaking on March 27 about the expulsion of Russian diplomats by European…

UK at RISK? Ministry of Defence faces a £21BILLION budget shortfall over next 10 years

By Matthew Robinson on Saturday, May 12, 2018

THE MINISTRY of Defence (MoD) faces a whopping £21billion funding shortfall over the next decade, placing the purchase of vital new equipment including fighter jets, submarines and armoured vehicles in jeopardy, according to the Public Accounts Committee which scrutinises the MoD’s spending. The PAC’s report into the MoD’s ten-year equipment plan for 2017-27 stated: “The ministry simply does not have enough to buy all the equipment it says it needs.”…

India and Pakistan tensions reach diplomatic PEAK in FURIOUS STAND OFF at UN meeting

By Andy Anderson on Friday, May 11, 2018

PAKISTAN raised tensions with India at a UN General Assembly session in New York after a Pakistani official made reference to the issue of the Kashmir conflict, which India rejected as being irrelevant to the work of the committee. Masood Anwar, Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN, said: “The world we live today is marred with conflict and strife while we maintain unity in fighting terrorism and extremism. “Countering the…