Yesterday May 2, 2007, the Romanian Parliament adopted with a comfortable majority a resolution allowing for the stationing of US troops in the country. U.S. forces will use “Mihail Kogalniceanu” air base as well as several Romanian training ranges such as: Babadag, Smardan and Cincu. These troop redeployments are a part of the new basing strategy by the Pentagon which will put U.S. forces near to the theatres of operations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and will allow for far more flexible deployments for American troops around the world. The importance of these bases for U.S operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan is revealed by the forward operating bases status given to them by the Pentagon.
A new divisive issue between Russia and NATO has come to the fore: the deployment and development of ballistic missile defenses in Europe by the United States in Central Europe.
The debate regarding missile defense is not new. It dates back to the Cold War when the United States used the Strategic Defense Initiative, colloquially known as Star Wars to bankrupt the Soviet Union. Today however ballistic defenses have returned as an issue of international politics when the United States decided to retreat from ABM treaty signed in 1972 and develop this type of strategic defense in order to protect itself from countries like Iran and North Korea – the infamous “rogue states” from the “axis of evil”.
Historically the Romanian Navy was not large but it played an instrumental part in the creation of the modern Romanian state. By maintaining a presence on the shores of the Black Sea as well as patrolling and policing the Danube River, a strategic and economically important European waterway, it maintained the sovereignty and independence of the state. More…
Apparently Romania is faced with a stark choice in terms of its foreign and security policies since it has joined the EU: should it continue with a foreign policy that emphasizes a strong atlanticist commitment or should it take a 180 degree turn towards a foreign policy oriented towards the EU?
I will argue that making such a choice now is senseless and that the Romanian government should develop a foreign policy that will emphasize both its strong NATO commitment (especially cultivating a strong relationship with the United States) as well as trying to better coordinate its foreign policy with EU member countries under the framework of the ESDP.