The Weimar Triangle – Between a moderate regional success and an uncertain future Răspunde

Angela Merkel, Bronislaw Komorowsky and Nicolas Sarkozy

Where Does It Come From? What Is It? Where Is It Going?*

Motto: Tres faciunt collegium [three makes company]

The Weimar Triangle is soon to celebrate its twentieth anniversary. With a mixed record of relevance (due often to the leaders themselves) and a relatively strong level of cooperation as regards regional and local actors, it is in a process of redefinition. Through policies adopted at its February high level summit (EU budget, ESDP, etc.) and its prospective integration of Russia it might become a viable and highly influent organization at the European level.

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Reclame

The blue-print of the future NATO strategic concept: future missions and capabilities Răspunde

I continue the presentation and analysis of the experts’ report on the future NATO strategic concept, an endeavor which I have began in May, with the section dedicated to the future missions and military affairs. The final section of the experts’ report deals with NATO’s future missions and the development of future military capabilities required to fulfill them.  Section five of the report provides an analysis of the current needs and capabilities and makes recommendations on what missions and capabilities should be provided in the future strategic concept of the Alliance.

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The blue-print of the future NATO strategic concept: organizational and political issues 1

Three months a go I have published on this blog an analysis of the experts’ report concerning the future NATO strategic concept to be adopted in Lisbon, in late 2010. That analysis dealt mainly with general comments and observations concerning the threat environment, NATO’s core tasks and partnerships. The second installment of the analysis of the experts’ report on the future NATO’s strategic concept will deal with political and organizational issues.

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The blue-print of the future NATO Strategic Concept: Some comments and views 2

NATO has released last week a report containing the outline of the future NATO Strategic Concept that will be adopted at the Alliance summit this year in Lisbon. Although this is not even a draft of the new Strategic Concept, it is a blue print that offers a glimpse of NATO’s strategic thinking. Following its publication  consultations and heated negotiations between member states will follow in order to draft the NATO’s new Strategic Concept. This article is first in a series dedicated to analyzing the outline of the Alliance’s future strategy. In this part I will summarize and analyze the chapters dedicated to the threat environment, core tasks of NATO and partnerships.

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The perils of arming Russia Răspunde

Mistral (L9013) at anchor in Brest harbor courtesy of Wikipedia

The last week’s visit to France of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev  has further strengthen Franco-Russian relations, while at the same time endangering European security. During this visit France and Russia concluded a series of economic agreements concerning the energy market (GDF Suez wil participate  in the Nord Stream pipeline project), a partnership between the French rail company Alstom and its Russian counterpart TMH and opened exclusive talks on buying four Mistral class amphibious assault ships (LHD). Although France has not yet decided to sell the ships, this military deal seems almost certain and the bilateral talks between France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev seem to confirm that few details remain to be settled before the green light is given.

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The End Game: the consequences of World War II 7

Potsdam Conference (courtesy of Wikipedia and Bundesarchiv)

It is said that when asked about what he thought of the French Revolution, the Chinese foreign minister Zhu Enlai replied that it is too early to say. This famous quip about the French Revolution can be applied also to the consequences of World War II. This article is the final installment in a series of articles which dealt with the greatest conflict ever to have been fought and provides a short-list of the far reaching consequences of this event. The list of consequences should not be viewed by the readers as being definitive and I strongly urge them to add more or comment on them.

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Appeasement 2

Munich Agreement: Neville Chamberlain, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Edouard Deladier, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Galeazzo Ciano

Munich Agreement: Neville Chamberlain, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Edouard Daladier, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Galeazzo Ciano

The term appeasement is unpopular today both in politics and in academia as it is associated with the policy pursued by France and Great Britain towards Nazi Germany in the 1930s. The highpoint of this policy was reached on September 29, 1938 in Munich when the Western Powers gave in to Hitler’s territorial demands concerning Czechoslovakia. Since then the term has been associated with political and military weakness and treachery. This article represents the second installment in a series  dedicated to the commemorations of 70 years since the start of World War II and will deal with the political implications of appeasement. In the following lines I will outline the meaning of appeasement and its implications for the international system. My approach will draw upon the work of Robert Gilpin and of Mark R. Brawley and will concentrate on defining appeasement and explaining the political context in which it was implemented.

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World War II: Seventy years after Răspunde

World War II fighting

Few events have had such a deep impact on world history as the conflict that griped the international system seventy years ago. As all great power wars in the last five hundred years it started in Europe, with a bid a for hegemony made by a Germany, the second in twenty-five years, but it soon spread to North Africa, the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. World War II was a total war, the second in less than a generation, and as such it involved attacks on civilians and genocide. From a military and strategic point of view it was a total war, as the aim of the war was the re-ordering of the entire international system and the destruction of some of its members; its scope was not limited to the European continent, it saw an unprecedented level of societal mobilization for the war effort in every country involved and it was prosecuted with every means available, culminating in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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